Last week’s joint communiqué released after US President Joe Biden’s talks with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman mentioned Riyadh’s “commitment to support global oil markets balancing for sustained economic growth”.
International oil prices rose on Monday, with Brent crude increasing 4.33% to $105.49 per barrel. The increase comes a day after US President Joe Biden wrapped up his visit to Saudi Arabia, in which he failed to clinch any deal with Riyadh to raise oil supply.
Naeem Aslam, the chief market analyst at the online company Avatrade, told the Guardian that the message is clear: “It is OPEC+ that makes the oil supply decision, and the cartel isn’t remotely interested in what Biden is trying to achieve”.
“OPEC+ will continue to control oil supply, and one country alone cannot determine the oil supply – at least that is the message that traders have taken from Biden’s visit to Saudi Arabia”, Aslam pointed out.
He spoke after Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud said late last week that the US-Arab summit did not discuss oil, and that OPEC+ nations would continue to assess market conditions.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, for his part, stated the same day that Riyadh’s only possible move is to boost crude production from 10 to 13 million barrels per day by 2027, adding that there is no additional capacity beyond that.
The crown prince also highlighted that unified efforts were required to keep the global economy afloat and that unrealistic policies regarding energy sources could instigate further inflation.
This followed major US oil companies arguing that the Biden administration could do more to tackle soaring oil prices last month, accusing the 46th president of “imposing obstacles” to US industry’s efforts to “deliver energy resources”. US petrol prices hit record highs last month, averaging above $5 per gallon.
POTUS has repeatedly blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin and his decision to launch a special operation in Ukraine for sending international oil prices and inflation soaring, despite the fact that US inflation rates started to surge in November 2021, well before the beginning of Russia’s special op.
The operation prompted Washington and its allies to slap a spate of “severe” sanctions on Russia, with the US, in particular, banning all imports of Russian oil and natural gas as part of the restrictive measures.
OPEC+ is a group of 24 oil-producing nations, made up of the 14 members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and 10 other non-OPEC members, including Russia.
While OPEC is nominally led by Saudi Arabia, the group’s largest oil producer, Russia is seen as the biggest player among the non-OPEC countries.