Saudi Arabia defends OPEC+ oil cut decision as “purely economic”

Saudi Arabia rejects accusations that OPEC+’s decision to cut oil production earlier this month he was politically motivated against the United States.

The Kingdom’s Foreign Ministry said in a thursday statement that the OPEC+ decision, announced on October 5, was “purely economic” and taken unanimously by all the member states of the oil conglomerate.

FILE PHOTO: A 3D printed oil pump jack is seen in front of the OPEC logo in this illustration picture, April 14, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/File photo (REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/File Photo/Reuters Photos)

“These results are based purely on economic considerations that take into account maintaining the balance of supply and demand in oil markets, as well as aim to limit volatility that does not serve the interests of consumers and producers, such as has always been the case within OPEC +,” the Foreign Ministry said.

He added that the Biden administration’s request to postpone the OPEC+ decision for a month, in other words, help reduce the risk of a spike in gas prices ahead of the november midterms – “would have had negative economic consequences.”

The White House pushed back on Thursday, rejecting the idea that the requested delay was related to the US election and instead linking it to economic considerations and Russia’s war against Ukraine.

“We presented Saudi Arabia with an analysis to show that there was no market basis for lowering production targets, and that they could easily wait for the next OPEC meeting to see how things played out,” said John Kirby, coordinator of strategic communications in National Security. Council.

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The Foreign Ministry criticized President Biden for suggesting that Saudi Arabia had effectively sided with Russia in its war against Ukraine with the OPEC+ decision.

“[A]Any attempt to distort the facts about the Kingdom’s position on the Ukraine crisis is unfortunate and will not change the Kingdom’s principled position, including its vote to support the UN resolutions on the Russo-Ukrainian crisis,” he said. Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

He added that while Saudi Arabia “strives to preserve the strength of its relations with all friendly countries, it affirms its rejection of any dictates, actions or efforts to distort its noble goals of protecting the global economy from oil market volatility.”

OPEC+ building

FILE: People and media gather at the entrance of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, building in Vienna, Austria, on October 5, 2022. (AP Photo/Philipp-Moritz Jenne/AP Newsroom)

Rising oil prices, and by extension rising gasoline prices, have been a key driver of inflation in the US and around the world, worsening global economic woes, as Russia’s months-long war against Ukraine has also disrupted the world’s food supply. For Biden, the gradual increase in gasoline prices could affect voters. He and many lawmakers have warned that the United States’ longstanding security-based relationship with the kingdom could be reconsidered.

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On Tuesday, Biden warned of repercussions for Saudi Arabia from the OPEC+ decision.

“There will be some consequences for what they have done with Russia,” Biden said. “I’m not going to go into what I would consider and what I have in mind. But there will be, there will be consequences.”

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Biden, who called Saudi Arabia a “pariah” during his 2020 election campaign, traveled to the kingdom in July and bumped fists with Prince Mohammed before a meeting. Despite the disclosure, the kingdom has supported keeping oil prices high to fund Prince Mohammed’s aspirations, including his planned $500 billion futuristic desert city project called Neom.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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