Saudi Energy Minister Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud said on February 4 that the sanctions policy that is spreading to the global energy market could lead to a restriction in energy supplies. His words are quoted by the Asharq TV channel.
“Sanctions, embargoes and lack of investment will result in a shortage of supplies of all types of energy carriers,” the minister said, speaking at the 44th conference of the International Energy Economics Association in Riyadh.
The world will see more isolationism in the near future, he said, given that “the days of the free market and globalization are over.”
“We must stop the hypocrisy and realize that hundreds of millions of people are suffering from energy shortages,” he added.
Since December 5, there has been an embargo on oil supplied by sea from Russia to the European Union (EU). The EU countries have set an adjustable ceiling on the cost of seaborne oil from Russia at $60 per barrel.
In addition, on October 5, OPEC+ members agreed to cut oil production by 2 million barrels per day starting in November, extending the deal until the end of 2023. Despite the energy crisis and rising energy prices in other regions, this step was supported by all members of the alliance, including Russia.
The decision caused dissatisfaction with the American administration, which demanded an increase in oil production. So, in response, US Senator Chris Murphy said that after the Saudis sided with Russia and OPEC +, President Biden should “reconsider relations with Saudi Arabia.”
President Joe Biden on October 12 announced US action on Saudi Arabia following the OPEC+ decision to cut oil production as it shows Saudi Arabia is aligning its energy policy with Russia.
On October 17, Financial Times journalist Andrew England pointed out that if US President Joe Biden decides to implement his threats, including banning arms sales and reconsidering security cooperation, Washington could lose a valuable ally in the Middle East. However, the author noted that due to the policy of the American leader, the allied relations between Washington and Riyadh are now under threat.
The position of the Saudi Arabian authorities stressed that the decision taken by OPEC + was based solely on economic considerations. Riyadh denied Washington’s accusations that it supports Moscow as long as Western countries intend to reduce dependence on energy resources from the Russian Federation.