OPEC+ members line up to approve production cut after US coercion claim


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OPEC+ member states lined up on Sunday to approve the steep production cut agreed to this month after the White House, stepping up a war of words with Saudi Arabia, accused Riyadh of coercing other countries to support this decision.

The United States noted on Thursday that the cut would boost Russia’s foreign income and suggested it was engineered for political reasons by Saudi Arabia, which denied on Sunday that it was backing Moscow in its invasion of Russia. ‘Ukraine.

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Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz said the kingdom was working hard to support stable and balanced oil markets, including establishing and maintaining the OPEC+ alliance agreement.

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The kingdom’s defense minister and son of King Salman, Prince Khalid bin Salman, also said the October 5 decision to cut production by 2 million barrels a day – taken despite tight oil markets – was unanimous. and based on economic factors.

His comments were backed by ministers from several OPEC+ member states, including the United Arab Emirates.

The Gulf state’s energy minister, Suhail al-Mazrouei, wrote on Twitter: “I would like to clarify that the latest OPEC+ decision, which was unanimously approved, was a purely technical decision. , without ANY political intention”.

His comment followed a statement by Iraqi state oil distributor SOMO.

“There is complete consensus among OPEC+ countries that the best approach to dealing with oil market conditions during the current period of uncertainty and lack of clarity is a precautionary approach that supports market stability. and provides necessary guidance for the future,” SOMO said in a statement.

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Kuwait Petroleum Corporation chief executive Nawaf Saud al-Sabah also welcomed the move by OPEC+ – which includes other major producers, including Russia – and said the country was keen to maintain a balanced oil market. , the official KUNA news agency reported.

Oman and Bahrain said in separate statements that OPEC unanimously agreed to the cut.

Algeria’s energy minister called the decision “historic” and he and OPEC secretary general Haitham Al Ghais, who is visiting Algeria, expressed their full confidence in it, Algerian Ennahar TV reported. .

Ghais later told a press conference that the organization was aiming for a balance between supply and demand rather than a specific prize.

Oil inventories in major economies are at lower levels than when OPEC cut production in the past.

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Some analysts said recent volatility in crude markets could be corrected with a decline that would help lure investors into an underperforming market.

U.S. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Thursday that “more than one” OPEC member felt coerced by Saudi Arabia into voting, adding the cut would increase would also affect Russia’s revenues and lessen the effectiveness of the sanctions imposed during its invasion of Ukraine in February. .

King Salman said in an address to the Shura Kingdom Advisory Council that the country was a peace broker and highlighted the crown prince’s initiative to release prisoners of war from Russia last month, the agency reported. SPA official press release.

Khalid bin Salman said on Sunday he was “amazed” by claims that his country was “on the side of Russia in its war against Ukraine”.

“It is telling that these false accusations do not come from the Ukrainian government,” he wrote on Twitter. (Reporting by Moataz Mohamed, Yasmin Hussien, Maha El Dahan and Aziz El Yaakoubi; Additional reporting by Nayera Abdallah and Ahmed Tolba; Editing by Louise Heavens, Will Dunham and Alexandra Hudson)

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