Saudi Arabia accuses US of ‘manipulating oil markets’

As an economic forum nicknamed “Davos of the desert” began on Tuesday in Riyadh, the Saudi energy minister criticized the American decision to tap into oil reserves in response to the reduction in the kingdom’s production quotas.

The Saudi Minister of Energy on Tuesday denounced the release of emergency oil reserves which, according to him, aims to “manipulate the markets”, at a time when Riyadh and its American partner are tearing themselves apart on the price of black gold. This diatribe comes a week after President Joe Biden announced that the United States would continue to draw on its strategic reserves in an attempt to stabilize prices at the pump.

“People are running out of emergency stocks, running them out, using them as a mechanism to manipulate the markets when their basic purpose was to ease the supply shortage,” Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said, the Saudi Minister of Energy, without naming the United States.

“However, it is my duty to make the world understand that the loss of the emergency stock could become painful in the coming months,” he stressed at an economic conference in Riyadh.

Washington accuses Riyadh of playing into Russia’s hands

Joe Biden’s announcement to draw an additional 15 million barrels from strategic reserves is part of a program that plans to release a total of 180 million to deal with the invasion-related price spike Russian from Ukraine. This announcement also followed two weeks after the decision of oil-exporting countries, Saudi Arabia and Russia in the lead, to lower their production quotas to support prices, provoking the ire of Washington.

The US administration has accused its Saudi partner of playing into the hands of Russia, which is seeking to finance its war against Ukraine. Ryad denied, assuring that its position was based only on economic considerations. After experiencing a spectacular surge at the start of the war, exceeding the symbolic threshold of 100 dollars per barrel, oil prices have fallen in recent months even if they remain high.

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