Saudi Arabia oil production: Saudi Arabia today (April 2) said that it will cut oil production by 5,00,000 barrels per day from May until the end of 2023. The move would likely raise prices at the pump, further straining relations between Riyadh and Washington as the world copes with inflation fuelled in part by the war in Ukraine.
The Saudi Energy Ministry said on Sunday that the cuts would be made in coordination with some OPEC and non-OPEC members, without naming them. The cut is in addition to a reduction announced last October that infuriated the Biden administration.
Saudi Energy Ministry on oil production:
The ministry described the move as a precautionary measure aimed at stabilising the oil market. The cuts represent less than 5 per cent of Saudi Arabia’s average production of 11.5 million barrels per day in 2022. The earlier cuts- of some 2 million barrels a day- had come on the eve of US midterm elections in which soaring prices for gas and other basic goods was a major issue.
President Joe Biden vowed at the time that there would be “consequences” and Democratic lawmakers called for freezing cooperation with the Saudis. Both the US and Saudi Arabia denied any political motives, saying they were focused on maintaining a healthy market price.
Since those cuts, oil prices have actually trended down. Brent crude, a global benchmark, was trading at around USD 80 a barrel at the end of last week, down from around USD 95 a barrel in early October, when the earlier cuts were agreed.
Saudi Arabia’s state-run oil giant Aramco recently announced record profits of USD 161 billion from last year. Profits rose 46.5 per cent when compared to the company’s 2021 results of USD 110 billion. Aramco said it hoped to boost production to 13 million barrels a day by 2027.
(With agencies inputs)
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