Saudi Arabia and Kuwait deny supporting OPEC oil production increase
The OPEC+ decision last month to cut oil production by two million barrels per day strained Saudi-US relations
By News Desk - November 22 2022

(Photo credit: CNBC)

Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have denied that OPEC+ is considering increasing production next month. According to Al-Monitor news, the Saudi government said the production cut of 2 million barrels a day will be maintained until the end of next year.

Global markets experienced sharp declines on Tuesday after the U.S.-based Wall Street Journal claimed that Saudi Arabia and other OPEC producers are considering a 500,000 bpd oil production increase.

However, state news agency SPA quoted Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman on 21 November denying the report by The Wall Street Journal, sending prices plunging by more than 5 percent.

“It is well known that OPEC+ does not discuss any decisions before the meeting,” said Saudi Arabia’s energy minister.

“The current cut of 2 million barrels per day by OPEC+ continues until the end of 2023, and if further action is needed by reducing production to balance supply and demand, we will always be ready to intervene,” he added.

Kuwait’s Oil Minister Bader Al-Mulla also denied the report, according to the official Kuwait News Agency report on 22 November.

The sharp price decline followed the article’s publication, which claimed that the Saudis and other members were considering the increase to flatter themselves with the US government and limit Russian gains from the price of crude oil.

However, the Biden administration is considering “punitive measures” against Saudi Arabia for its OPEC+ decision to cut oil output by 2 million barrels per day (bpd), according to NBC news.

The report, published on 29 October, cites two US officials claiming that the Biden administration considers “slow-rolling” military aid to Saudi Arabia, including exporting US Patriot missiles.

According to the report, not all military officials agree with the move; however, some demand that the military relationship between the two countries is kept separate from recent disagreements, arguing that it could put US troops and interests under threat.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre accused OPEC+ on 5 October of “aligning with Russia” and claimed their decision “is shortsighted while the global economy is dealing with the continued negative impact of [Russia’s] invasion of Ukraine,” in reference to the crisis caused by western sanctions imposed on Russia’s energy sector and attacks on Russian energy infrastructure.

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