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Saudi energy minister denies trying to push up oil prices

Oil Gas

Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, who serves as Saudi Arabia’s energy minister, has hit back at critics by denying that his country’s recent agreement to extend its voluntary oil production cut was about “jacking up prices”.

While the OPEC+ grouping of oil-producing countries has unanimously agreed a package of production cuts, Saudi Arabia and Russia went a step further by making unilateral cuts for the remainder of this year. The former has cut crude oil production by a million barrels per day (bpd), while the latter has cut its exports by 300,000 bpd.

Speaking in Calgary at the World Petroleum Congress, bin Salman said that the Kingdom could increase or decrease production, but he wanted to ensure that:

“…the messaging is clear, that it’s not about, again, this jacking up prices. It’s about…making the decision at the right time, when we have the data, and when we have the clarity that would make us in much more of a comfort zone to take that decision.”

At the time, Brent Crude had hit $95 per barrel, and the CEO of Chevron, which makes the Texaco Multifak grease, said to Bloomberg that the price could well reach triple digits, pointing out that the momentum appears to be gradually building. Saudi Arabia is the world’s biggest exporter of oil by far, and it is currently relying on its oil revenues to fund a series of huge projects aimed at diversifying the country’s economy away from oil and gas.

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