OPEC+ oil cut ‘nothing political’, UAE insists
The United Arab Emirates on Tuesday insisted the output cut announced this month by oil cartel OPEC and its allies, including Russia, was not politically motivated against the United States.
The 13-nation, Saudi-led OPEC cartel and its 10 allies headed by Russia angered Washington by cutting production by two million barrels a day from November, adding further upward pressure on elevated crude prices.
The decision drew a swift rebuke from the administration of President Joe Biden, which had hoped for lower prices ahead of November midterm elections, and drew criticism that Riyadh was providing Moscow with economic support that would help to finance its war in Ukraine.
Saudi Arabia has already previously insisted that the October 5 move by OPEC+ was taken “purely on economic considerations” and rejected as baseless allegations that it was politically motivated against Washington.
On Tuesday, UAE energy minister Suhail al-Mazrouei said the OPEC+ decision was “good”, and that it had made it possible to “bring prices back and stabilise them at a level close to that of October 2021”.
“I would like to reiterate that there is nothing political about any decision we take within OPEC,” he told reporters in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi, one of the largest oil exporters in the world.
However, “there was an attempt to politicise the decision, which forced many officials to clarify for the hundredth time that our decisions are technical decisions,” he added.
Each member of OPEC+ “takes into account the interest of their country and the interest of this industry, which is based on the balance between supply and demand”.
Other Gulf oil producers have also reiterated their support for the OPEC+ decision, emphasising its economic dimension. All are close allies of the West and maintain good relations with Moscow. None have publicly supported Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.