The de facto leader of OPEC’s oil production group, Saudi Arabia, stated in a statement that the Biden administration requested a one-month delay in its decision about oil supply.
The Saudis declined, and in early October, OPEC+—which includes non-OPEC oil exporters like Russia—announced its greatest output cut since 2020, amounting to 2 million barrels per day beginning in November. The result will be tighter supply and higher prices at a time of already high inflation and concerns about a worldwide recession. This has infuriated American politicians, who are now calling for a “reevaluation” of relations with the Saudi kingdom.
It should be noted that Biden’s request would have postponed the decision until after the American midterm elections.
The statement from the Saudi foreign ministry was a “total rejection” of claims made after the OPEC+ decision on October 5 that the move was motivated politically against the United States of America and that the kingdom was “taking sides in international conflicts.” Additionally, the announcements attempted to present the OPEC+ decision ”out of its purely economic context”.
“These outcomes are based purely on economic considerations that take into account maintaining balance of supply and demand in the oil markets, as well as aim to limit volatility that does not serve the interests of consumers and producers, as has been always the case within OPEC+.”
According to US intelligence services, MBS authorised the operation against Khashoggi, and according to Biden, he told the crown prince that he believed MBS was to blame. A US-led initiative to set a price restriction on Russian oil may be affected by the OPEC+ action as well.
The Saudi government considers “any attempts to distort the facts about the kingdom’s position regarding the crisis in Ukraine are unfortunate” and will not alter its “principled position, including its vote to support UN resolutions regarding the Russian-Ukrainian crisis based on international law and the rejection of any infringement of countries’ sovereignty.”