Tuesday, May 28, 2024

‘Members acted unanimously’ — Saudi Arabia defends OPEC+ production cut after US backlash

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The kingdom of Saudi Arabia says the decision by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, known as OPEC+, to cut output quota by 2 million bpd, was taken unanimously and not by its influence.

Last week, OPEC+ had agreed to a deep cut global oil production.

The move has since raised worries in Washington about the possibility of higher petrol prices before the November US mid-term elections.

Following the cut, President Joe Biden pledged earlier this week that “there will be consequences” for US relations with Saudi Arabia.

On Tuesday, Faisal bin Farhan, Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister, said the OPEC+ decision was purely economic and was taken unanimously by its member states.

“OPEC+ members acted responsibly and took the appropriate decision,” he had told the Al Arabiya television channel.

In a statement on Wednesday, Saudi Arabia’s ministry of foreign affairs defended its position, saying the OPEC+ decision was based on economic considerations. 

It debunked claims that the decision showed that the kingdom was taking sides in international conflicts and that it was politically motivated against the US.

“The government of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia would first like to express its total rejection of these statements that are not based on facts, and which are based on portraying the OPEC+ decision out of its purely economic context. This decision was taken unanimously by all member states of the OPEC+ group,” the ministry said.

“The kingdom affirms that the outcomes of the OPEC+ meetings are adopted through consensus among member states, and that they are not based on the unilateral decision by a single country.

“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+.

“The OPEC+ group makes its decisions independently in accordance with established independent practices followed by the international organisations.

“The government of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia would also like to clarify that based on its belief in the importance of dialogue and exchange of views with its allies and partners outside the OPEC+ group regarding the situation in the oil markets, the government of the kingdom clarified through its continuous consultation with the US administration that all economic analyses indicate that postponing the OPEC+ decision for a month, according to what has been suggested, would have had negative economic consequences.”

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