RIYADH: Former Saudi Intelligence chief Prince Turki Al-Faisal said the Kingdom should not be blamed for the US's energy price woes, adding it is the White House's policy agenda that is behind the increase in prices.
In an interview with Arab News' Frankly Speaking with Katie Jensen, the Prince said: “When you say that Saudi Arabia has not budged on the issue of the oil problems that America is facing, basically America itself is the reason for the state that they’re in because of their energy policy."
Following the invasion of Ukraine, oil prices have dramatically surged in the market, as several European nations and western countries announced sanctions on Russian energy imports.
On Monday, Brent crude futures was priced at $105 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate was at $103.70 per barrel.
Amid the price hike, the Biden administration has been urging Saudi Arabia to increase its oil output, and it has placed a strain on the relationship between the two countries.
According to Al-Faisal, President Biden’s decision to curtail oil and gas production in the US has ultimately resulted in the instability of oil prices.
The former intelligence chief revealed that the ongoing geopolitical tensions have also contributed to the rise in oil prices.
In March, Yemen’s Houthi group attacked oil facilities in Saudi Arabia, and while it did not affect output, oil prices reacted to the news.
“Another factor that adds to all this is the security issue, the high rates of insurance that have come about as a result of the war in Ukraine, plus the European and American curtailment and sanction of the Russian oil industry. All of these things have added to the increase in oil prices,” stated Al-Faisal.
Prince reminds Hillary Clinton that Saudi Arabia is a sovereign country
The Prince also expressed his strong displeasure regarding the comments made by Hillary Clinton, the former US secretary of state, on NBC’s “Meet the Press”, where she supported the idea of a “carrot-and-stick” approach to force Saudi Arabia to increase its share of oil production.
“We are not schoolchildren to be treated with a carrot and stick. We are a sovereign country, and when we are dealt with fairly and squarely, we respond likewise,” added Al-Faisal.
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OPEC+ trying to stabilize the oil market
Al-Faisal also added that OPEC+ members are always trying to stabilize the oil market.
“The Kingdom and the other OPEC members, and the OPEC+ members are sticking to the production quotas that they have assigned themselves. The recent decision by OPEC+ to increase incrementally oil production is in response to the present difficulties that people have in the energy sector,” asserted Al-Faisal.
Meanwhile, OPEC+ is likely to stick to its existing deal and agree to another 432,000 barrel per day output target increase for June as it meets on May 5, Reuters reported citing confidential sources familiar with the matter.
Last month, OPEC told the International Monetary Fund's steering committee that the surge in oil prices was due to the Ukraine crisis, hinting that the producer group would not take further action to increase supply.