(Photo credit: Voice of the Cape)
Saudi Arabia’s Minister of State, Adel al-Jubeir, rejected claims that the kingdom is behind soaring gas prices in the US, citing instead insufficient refinery production and asserting that the Gulf country does not politicize oil.
“With due respect, the reason you have high prices in the United States is because you have a refining shortage that has been in existence for more than 20 years… You haven’t built refineries in decades,” Jubeir said during an interview on Fox News on 7 October.
“Oil is not a weapon… It’s not a fighter plane. It’s not a tank. You can’t shoot it. You can’t do anything with it. We look at oil as a commodity and we look at oil as important to the global economy in which we have a huge stake. The idea that Saudi Arabia would do this to harm the U.S. or to be in any way politically involved is absolutely not correct at all,” the Saudi official added.
The minister made the claim that the issue on oil production has “been taken out of context by perhaps commentators and analysts,” while assuring that Riyadh is “committed to ensuring stability in the oil markets to the benefit of consumers and producers.”
Following the decision by OPEC+ to cut production output levels by two million barrels per day (bpd), Washington fired back strongly at it’s Gulf partners, with White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre accusing them on 5 October of “aligning with Russia.”
For weeks before the cut, the US had been lobbying OPEC+ and pressuring it against making the decision, sources told media, as US officials “tried to position the situation as ‘us versus Russia.’”
Saudi officials reportedly told their US counterparts that Washington should boost its own production if it wanted more oil on the market.
Tensions have escalated further between Saudi Arabia and the US in the wake of the production cut, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken saying on 6 October that Washington is reviewing various options regarding its relationship with the kingdom.