A new report from CNBC finds the Biden administration asked Saudi Arabia to delay their scheduled cut in oil production until after the November midterm election.
The Biden administration asked Saudi Arabia, the de-facto leader of oil producer group OPEC, to delay its decision on oil output by a month, the kingdom said in a statement.
The Saudis declined, and in early October OPEC+ — which includes non-OPEC oil exporters like Russia — announced its largest supply cut since 2020, to the tune of 2 million barrels per day starting from November. That means tighter supplies and higher prices at a time of already high inflation and worries of a global recession, which angered U.S. lawmakers who are now calling for a “reevaluation” of relations with the Saudi kingdom.
Notably, the White House’s request would have delayed the decision until after the U.S. midterm elections.
In a statement dated Wednesday, the Saudi government defended its move and said all OPEC decisions are based on economic forecasts and needs.
“The Government of the Kingdom clarified through its continuous consultation with the US Administration that all economic analyses indicate that postponing the OPEC+ decision for a month, according to what has been suggested, would have had negative economic consequences,” the statement read.