Saudi prince hits out at Reuters reporter during press conference

The OPEC oil cartel and its Russian-led allies have announced a major production cut.

The decision to cut oil production by two million barrels a day will drive up prices and increase pain for Western countries that are already struggling with soaring inflation.

In Vienna, OPEC cartel ministers and a group of 10 exporters led by Russia agreed to cut production by two million barrels a day from November.

The deal was a slap in the face to President Joe Biden, whose administration had been on a frantic diplomatic mission to convince OPEC+ members to vote against the production cut.

Saudi Energy Minister Abdulaziz bin Salman spoke at a recent press conference after the 45th Joint Ministerial Oversight Committee in Vienna, Austria.
AFP via Getty Images

A White House official said President Biden was “disappointed with the short-sighted decision” and that his administration would “consult with Congress on additional tools and authorities to reduce OPEC’s control over oil prices.” ‘energy”.

President Biden’s political opponents have stepped up criticism. “Total failure. OPEC laughs at him,” Steve Scalise, House Minority Whip, wrote on social media.

Oil prices immediately spiked as news of the decision broke and the stock market rally slowed.

The decision by OPEC – which includes major oil-producing nations like Iran, Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia – is the biggest cut since 2020 and came despite fears it could fuel inflation and pushing central banks to raise interest rates.

Oil prices had slipped in recent weeks to return to pre-war levels in Ukraine on fears of a global slowdown, but have surged in recent days on expectations of production cuts.

The main international crude contract, Brent, jumped 2% following the decision before ending at $93.37 a barrel, up 1.7%.

“Oil futures are expected to continue their rally in the short to medium term, but lingering concerns about a global recession and rising inflation are likely to limit the long-term upside,” said Srijan Katyal of the ADSS international brokerage firm.

A photo of the OPEC logo at OPEC headquarters.
OPEC cartel ministers and a group of 10 exporters led by Russia agreed to cut production by two million barrels.
AFP via Getty Images

Swissquote analyst Ipek Ozkardeskaya warned that the sharp cut could “backfire on OPEC+ if investors fear it will push inflation higher and force central banks to raise interest rates. interest to the point of triggering a recession.

“The higher the energy prices, the more central banks have to kill demand to drive prices down,” she said before the decision was announced.

Saudi prince attacks journalist

At a press conference after the decision, Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud criticized Reuters journalist Alex Lawler and declined to answer questions.

In a clip shared widely on social media, he accused the news agency of relying on unnamed sources rather than an official spokesperson.

“You got it wrong twice,” Prince Abdulaziz said, referring to a story implicating Saudi Arabia and Russia targeting a $100 oil price.

“You [Reuters] didn’t do a good job,” he said, adding that he spent time speaking with a reporter to get the story clear.

“If you have questions, direct them to others, but not to me,” Prince Abdulaziz said.

“I’m not talking to Reuters, until you respect the source, which is the energy minister, on behalf of the Saudi government.”

A photo of Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud.
“I’m not talking to Reuters until you respect the source, which is the energy minister, on behalf of the Saudi government,” said Saudi energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud.
AFP via Getty Images

Russia warns it ‘will not supply oil’

Meanwhile, Russia warned on Wednesday that a possible cap on Russian oil prices – proposed by the European Union as part of new sanctions against Ukraine – would have a “adverse effect” on world markets.

“Such a tool disrupts all market mechanisms and can have a very detrimental effect on the global oil industry,” Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak told Russian state television.

Prime Minister Novak said Russian companies “would not supply oil to countries” that introduce such a cap.

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