The de facto leader of OPEC, Saudi Arabia, stated on Monday that the OPEC+ alliance based its choices on the fundamentals of the oil market rather than on political prejudice, reaffirming earlier statements from OPEC+ that it considers the markets when deciding on oil output levels.

Speaking at a gathering in Riyadh on Monday 20th February 2023, Saudi Energy Minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman stated that the decisions of the OPEC+ alliance, which is led by Saudi Arabia and Russia, are not politicised.

Many OPEC+ producers defended the group’s decision in a wave of announcements after agreeing to last October to cut quotas by 2 million barrels per day (bpd) starting in November. This appeared to be a concerted response to U.S. criticism of the cut. Saudi Arabia’s choice to work with Russia to lead OPEC+ into the oil output cut came with certain repercussions, the U.S. Administration warned.

OPEC+ maintained its output goals a week earlier in a widely anticipated “wait and see” supply strategy before the EU ban on Russian diesel and other petroleum products.

United Arab Emirates (UAE), one of OPEC’s biggest members, stated earlier this month that the decline in oil production in several nations and the prospect of a shortage of crude supply would be a bigger issue for the oil market next year than how demand would change.