Sat. Mar 25th, 2023

Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salmand (2nd from left), Secretary-General of OPEC Haitham al-Ghais (right) and other officials hold a press conference on Oct. 5. Photo: Askin Kiyagan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Saudi Arabia privately pressed several Arab countries to issue statements supporting the recent OPEC+ decision to cut oil production, according to a former U.S. official and an Arab official.
Why it matters: The goal of the Saudi push was likely to avoid being isolated by the U.S. and show that the decision, which angered the Biden administration, was a collective decision by all Arab nations in OPEC+.
The big picture: The Biden administration blames Saudi Arabia for the move, which the U.S. claims will strengthen Russia.
Catch up quick: Two weeks ago, OPEC+ announced production cuts of 2 million barrels per day starting in November.
Background: OPEC, led by the cartel's dominant producer Saudi Arabia, began working with Russia and some allied producers on market management in the mid-2010s in response to the rise of U.S. shale production.
Behind the scenes: In an attempt to push back on U.S. accusations, Saudi officials in recent days approached Arab countries that are OPEC+ members and several Arab countries that are not, and asked for public statements of support.
State of play: Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Algeria, Oman, Sudan, Morocco and Egypt all issued statements stressing the decision was made in consensus and was technical, not political.
What they're saying: A spokesperson for the Saudi Embassy in Washington declined to comment.
Go deeper: Biden's new Saudi strategy
Axios' Ben Geman provided additional reporting to this story.


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