Analysts warn a recession looms in the West from inflation and subsequent interest rate hikes, as well as food and oil supplies being affected by Russia-Ukraine conflict.
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have defended a decision by OPEC and its allies to cut oil production, even as an American envoy warned of “economic uncertainty” ahead for the world.
While cordial, the comments at the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference showed the stark divide between the United States and Gulf Arab countries it supports militarily in the wider Middle East. Already, American politicians have threatened arms deals with the kingdom and described it as siding with Russian President Vladimir Putin amid his offensive on Ukraine.
Saudi Arabia’s energy minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, hinted at that in brief remarks to the event.
“We don’t owe it to anybody but us,” the prince said to applause, noting that upcoming UN climate change summits will be held in Egypt and the United Arab Emirates. “It was done for us, by us, for our future, and we need to commit ourselves to that.”
Emirati Energy Minister Suhail al-Mazrouei echoed that defence. While saying that OPEC and its allies are "only a phone call away if the requirements are there” to raise production, he offered no suggestion such a boost would be on its way anytime soon.
“I can assure you that we in the United Arab Emirates, as well as our fellow colleagues in OPEC+ are keen on supplying the world with the requirement it needs," al-Mazrouei said. "But at the same time, we’re not the only producers in the world.”
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OPEC and a loose confederation of other countries led by Russia agreed in early October to cut its production by 2 million barrels of oil a day, beginning in November.
OPEC, led by Saudi Arabia, has insisted its decision came from concerns about the global economy.
Analysts in the US and Europe warn a recession looms in the West from inflation and subsequent interest rate hikes, as well as food and oil supplies being affected by Russia's offensive on Ukraine.
“The global economy is on the knife’s edge,” insisted Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, the managing director of the state-run Abu Dhabi National Oil Co.
American politicians, meanwhile, have reacted angrily to a decision likely to keep gasoline prices elevated. An average gallon of regular gasoline in the US now costs $3.76 — down from a record $5 a gallon in June but still high enough to bite into consumers' wallets. Benchmark Brent crude oil sat at $95 a barrel Monday.
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