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Saudi Arabia rejects statements critical of OPEC+ oil cut

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A general view of a Total Oil refinery in Antwerp, Belgium on 21 April 2020.
Jonathan Raa | Nurphoto | Getty Images

Saudi Arabia rejected as “not based on facts” statements criticizing the kingdom after an OPEC+ decision last week to cut its oil production target despite U.S. objections.

The OPEC+ decision was unanimous and took into account the balance of supply and demand and was aimed at curbing market volatility, the Saudi foreign ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

President Joe Biden pledged earlier this week that “there will be consequences” for U.S. relations with Saudi Arabia after OPEC+ said last week it would cut its oil production target by 2 million barrels per day.

OPEC+, the producer group comprising the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) plus allies including Russia, announced its new production target after weeks of lobbying by U.S. officials against such a move.

The United States accused Saudi Arabia of kowtowing to Moscow, which objects to a Western cap on the price of Russian oil in response to its invasion of Ukraine.

The Saudi foreign ministry statement, quoting an unnamed official, stressed the “purely economic context” of the oil cut.

“The Kingdom clarified through its continuous consultations with the U.S. 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,” it said.

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