White House admits asking Saudis to postpone oil cuts until after midterms
National Security Council spokesman John Kirby admitted that the White House had reached out for a one-month delay, which it justified by arguing it would increase Russian oil revenues and reduce the impact of sanctions
October 13, 2022 2:56pm
Updated: October 13, 2022 7:29pm
Saudi Arabia issued a bombshell statement late Wednesday that said the Biden administration reached out and asked them to delay OPEC’s upcoming cuts to oil production until after the midterm elections – which the White House has now confirmed.
The OPEC decision last week panicked the White House, who is worried about the impact of the economy and inflation, including high gas prices, on Democrats’ midterm prospects.
In an Oct. 5 White House press conference, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre accused OPEC and Saudi Arabia of “aligning with Russia” because it would help Moscow’s oil sales.
"As it relates to Russia, your last question, first: Look, it’s clear that OPEC+ is aligning with — with Russia with today’s announcement,” Jean-Pierre said, referring to the reporter’s question if an oil production cut would help Putin.
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud pushed back on the accusation in his statement, saying the decision was “based purely on economic considerations” and noted that it had voted in support of UN resolutions in support of Ukraine.
“The Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia would first like to express its total rejection of these statements that are not based on facts, and which are based on portraying the OPEC+ decision out of its purely economic context. This decision was taken unanimously by all member states of the OPEC+ group,” he said in the statement.
“These outcomes are based purely on economic considerations that take into account maintaining balance of supply and demand in the oil markets, as well as aim to limit volatility that does not serve the interests of consumers and producers, as has been always the case within OPEC +,” bin Farhan Al Saud added.
The statement also directly reports that the Biden administration had pleaded with the Saudis to wait at least one month to announce the production cut – so they would not hurt Democrats midterm chances – which the White House denied hours before the statement was issued.
'The Government of the Kingdom clarified through its continuous consultation with the U.S. 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,' bin Farhan Al Saud said.
BREAKING: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia confirms Biden attempted to coerce them to postpone oil cuts until after the midterms, announce they have rejected his quid pro quo pic.twitter.com/MGNRbZVrRk— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) October 13, 2022
On Thursday, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby admitted that the White House had reached out for a one-month delay, which it justified by arguing it would increase Russian oil revenues and reduce the impact of sanctions.
“We presented Saudi Arabia with analysis to show that there was no market basis to cut production targets and that they could easily wait for the next OPEC meeting to see how things developed,” said Kirby.
John Kirby confirms Team Biden tried to postpone oil cuts until after midterms.— Charlie Spiering (@charliespiering) October 13, 2022
"We presented Saudi Arabia with analysis to show that ... they could easily wait for the next OPEC meeting to see how things developed." https://t.co/jTcFAIZMDB