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Michael Kern

Michael Kern

Michael Kern is a newswriter and editor at Safehaven.com and Oilprice.com, 

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OPEC+ Insists Its Production Cut Was Not Political

  • In the span of a few hours, multiple OPEC+ members made statements to defend their decision to cut production in November.
  • The United States has made it clear that Saudi Arabia and other OPEC+ members will face consequences for cutting production.
  • The message from OPEC+ was clear, the decision was unanimous, based on economic considerations, and absolutely not political.

Multiple OPEC+ producers defended the group’s decision to reduce production in November in a wave of statements on Sunday and Monday, in what looked like a coordinated response to U.S. criticism of the cut.

The United States said last week there would be some consequences for Saudi Arabia for its decision together with Russia to steer OPEC+ into a large oil production cut after OPEC+ endorsed earlier this month a decision to reduce the headline production target by 2 million barrels per day (bpd) as of November.

A day after U.S. President Joe Biden threatened “there will be consequences” for OPEC+’s decision, Saudi Arabia came out with a statement that expressed “its total rejection” of Biden’s and other statements from Washington with regard to the decision.

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“This decision was taken unanimously by all member states of the OPEC+ group,” a statement from Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Ministry said last week.

Other OPEC+ producers, including the United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, and Algeria also issued statements on Sunday and Monday, in which officials defended the cut as necessary for the market and reiterated the decision taken by the group was unanimous. 

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On Sunday, Iraq’s state oil marketing company, SOMO, said in a statement carried by Reuters, “There is complete consensus among OPEC+ countries that the best approach in dealing with the oil market conditions during the current period of uncertainty and lack of clarity is a pre-emptive approach that supports market stability and provides the future the guidance it needs.”

The UAE’s Energy Minister Suhail al-Mazrouei wrote on Twitter on Sunday, “I would like to clarify that the latest OPEC+ decision, which was unanimously approved was a pure technical decision, with NO political intentions whatsoever.”

Algeria’s Energy Minister Mohamed Arkab told Reuters in a statement the decision was “a purely technical response based on purely economic considerations.”

Oman, Bahrain, and Kuwait also defended the OPEC+ production cut.

By Michael Kern for Oilprice.com

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Leave a comment
  • Mamdouh Salameh on October 17 2022 said:
    OPEC+ members issued statements insisting that their decision to cut production by 2.0 million barrels a day (mbd) was based purely on economic grounds and was agreed upon unanimously.

    These statements are intended to rebut claims by the United States that the decision was political and that Saudi-led OPEC+ sided with Russia.

    The truth of the matter is that Biden administration is to trying to shift the blame for its repeated failures to persuade OPEC+ particularly Saudi Arabia to cut production.

    President Biden keeps threatening both Saudi Arabia and OPEC+ with consequences. However, he should reconsider his threats because the Saudis are capable of harming both the US financial system and the US economy by undermining the petrodollar far more that the US can Saudi Arabia’s.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Global Energy Expert

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