“Unhelpful” for global economy

Oleg Burunov

In early October, the OPEC+ alliance agr-eed to reduce oil production by 2 million barrels per day from Nove-mber, in a move that was made in response to uncertainty in global energy markets.
The oil row over last month’s decision by the alliance between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and non-cartel producers (OPEC+) to slash oil production indicates that countries are ready “to push back against or question US influence,” even if it contradicts their “immediate” economic aspirations, an American media outlet has suggested.
It quoted unnamed Euro-pean diplomats as saying that the US should not perceive the oil cartel’s move as defiance of Washington, which should admit that Saudi Arabia “is looking after its own interests.”
The diplomats added th-at America “had become accustomed to having acqu-iescent allies in the Gulf Arab region and that has changed.”
One of the sources argued that the US needs “these regional relationships for years to come and has to make them work,” adding “If we have this ‘with us or against us’ attitude, and don’t engage, then that won’t happen.”
The claims come after OPEC+ decided last month on cutting oil production by 2 million barrels per day from November and will take production levels agreed for August as a reference point.
The move was made in response to uncertainty in global oil market outlooks, in part caused by Western sanctions on Russian energy deliveries and the G7 plans to introduce a price cap on Russian crude. Moscow has repeatedly warned that any attempts to “cap” the price of Russian oil may lead to a halt in exports. Russia accounts for about 10 percent of the global crude oil market.
The OPEC+ decision re-ceived a backlash from the US, which demanded an increase in production to combat rising domestic prices.
Riyadh, for its part, den-ied at the time that the decision was politically motivated against some states.
“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 u-nanimously by all member states of the OPEC+ gro-up,” the Saudi Foreign Mi-nistry said in a statement.
The ministry emphasized that postponing the OPEC+ decision for a month, as suggested by the United States, would have had negative economic consequences.
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen slammed the move as “unwise” and “unhelpful” for the global economy, arguing that It “did not seem appropriate under the circumstances we face.” This was preceded by US President Joe Biden walking away empty-handed after a trip to Saudi Arabia in July, with Riyadh only promising to “consult” with Washington on oil issues.
OPEC+ includes major non-member oil producers, which agree on supply agreements, and other arrangements aimed at keeping global oil prices and supplies stable. Among its members are Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Brunei, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mexico, Oman, the Philippines, Russia, Sudan, and South Sudan.
OPEC’s 13 members comprise Algeria, Angola, the Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Venezuela, with the Saudis serving is as the oil cartel’s de facto leader.