White House says OPEC+ ‘aligning’ with Russia as member countries announce biggest cut to oil production


WASHINGTON: The White House on Wednesday (local time) expressed disappointment over the announcement of a cut in oil production quotas by Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies.

Criticizing the move by OPEC+ on cuts, the Biden administration said that it was a “shortsighted decision”. White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters on Air Force One and it was “clear” OPEC+ was “aligning with Russia”.
“The president is disappointed by the shortsighted decision by OPEC+ to cut production quotas while the global economy is dealing with the continued negative impact of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine,” the White House said in a statement from national security adviser Jake Sullivan and National Economic Council Director Brian Deese.

Earlier in the day, members of OPEC+ said that they would cut November production quotas by two million barrels per day, citing the “uncertainty that surrounds the global economic and oil market outlooks”.

OPEC“We (OPEC+) are here to stay as a moderating force, to bring about stability,” Saudi Arabian energy minister Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud said during a news conference.

An OPEC+ memo outlining cuts shows that Saudi Arabia and Russia will make the biggest individual reductions of 19 countries doing so, lowering output by 526,000 monthly barrels apiece. Shortly after the release of an OPEC+ press release detailing the output cuts, the White House said, “In light of today’s action, the Biden Administration will also consult with Congress on additional tools and authorities to reduce OPEC’s control over energy prices.”

The White House warned that OPEC’s move would “have the most negative impact on lower- and middle-income countries that are already reeling from elevated energy prices”.

The White House also said that President Biden has directed the Department of Energy to release another 10 million oil barrels from the country’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve next month, signaling the administration’s effort to keep gas prices low with a month until the crucial midterms.

The 45th meeting of the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) and the 33rd OPEC and the non-OPEC ministerial meeting were held on October 5 in Vienna, Austria. During the last trading session, the prices of oil had dropped to the lowest levels under the pressure of a surging dollar that makes greenback-denominated crude oil more expensive for buyers using other currencies, and rising interest rates, which might trigger a recession and lower oil demand.

In the previous two trading sessions, Brent plunged 7.1 per cent while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude slumped 8.1 per cent. Officials from major producers reacted to the past days of declines by indicating they may take action to keep price stability. (ANI)

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