The Cradle
Saudi Arabia led OPEC+ decision to abandon US-funded energy data: Report
A decision made in late March by OPEC+ to stop using IEA data came as a major move to distance West Asia's energy giants from Washington
By News Desk - April 13 2022
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(Photo credit: CGTN)

The decision to abandon energy data from the US-funded International Energy Agency (IEA) taken by OPEC+ in late March was primarily led by Saudi Arabia, according to Reuters.

OPEC+ views the IEA as biased towards the US, and who they believe skew the data provided by the advisory group.

“The IEA has an independence problem, which is translating into a technical assessment problem,” an OPEC+ source directly involved in the decision told Reuters.

OPEC+ includes the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) members and others, including Russia.

Since the start of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine, Washington has been demanding that its oil-producing allies in West Asia increase their production quotas to temper the effects of the fuel crisis caused by western sanctions imposed on Moscow.

However, both the UAE and Saudi Arabia have refused these calls, instead doubling down on their OPEC+ commitments and bolstering ties with the Kremlin.

Ties between Riyadh and Washington have strained as of late, due to a multitude of factors, such as the US negotiations to revive the Iran nuclear deal, lack of support for the Saudi-led aggression against Yemen, and the White House following up on the file of the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The energy ministers of Saudi Arabia and the UAE said on 29 March that the OPEC+ oil alliance will continue keeping politics out of its decision-making process and will instead focus on stabilizing fuel prices.

When asked whether OPEC+ has a ‘moral responsibility’ to expel Russia from the alliance, Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said: “If we don’t [leave politics at the door] we would not have dealt with so many countries at different times. It could have been with Iraq at one point. It could have been with Iran at another point.”

On 16 March, OPEC warned the EU against blacklisting Russian energy imports, stating that such a move would cause global energy prices to skyrocket at a rate higher than is currently being experienced.