Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said on Tuesday that some were using their emergency stocks and using it as a mechanism to manipulate markets when its purpose should be to mitigate any shortages of supply.
“It is my duty to make clear that losing emergency stocks may be painful in the months to come,” the minister said addressing the Future Initiative Investment (FII) conference in Riyadh.
US President Joe Biden announced a plan last week to sell off the rest of his release from the nation’s emergency oil reserve by the year’s end and begin refilling the stockpile as he tries to dampen high gasoline prices ahead of midterm elections on November 8.
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He also said Saudi Arabia remained the world’s most reliable oil supplier and had increased its sales to Europe to 950,000 barrels in September from 490,000 barrels the same time a year ago.
When asked about how to get the energy relationship with the US back on track, the prince said Saudi Arabia had chosen to be “the maturer” party.
“We keep hearing you ‘are with us or against us,’ is there any room for ‘we are with the people of Saudi Arabia’?”
Relations between the US and the Kingdom have become increasingly strained in recent weeks since OPEC+ announced a production cut, which was ostensibly seen by the White House as Saudi Arabia aligning itself with Russia.
The Kingdom, OPEC’s largest oil producer, denied the accusation and said that it was a purely economic decision intended to stabilize a volatile oil market.
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