US President Joe Biden with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
- Saudi Arabia is raising oil prices for US buyers, following a similar move a month ago.
- Meanwhile, state-run Saudi Aramco lowered prices in Europe and left them largely unchanged for the Asian market.
- The price moves come after OPEC+ slashed production quotas, which the White House said aligns the oil group with Russia.
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Saudi Arabia is raising oil prices for the US market again, while lowering them for Europe and leaving them largely unchanged for Asia.
November shipments of Arab Light crude to Asia from state-run producer Saudi Aramco will remain steady at $5.85 per barrel above benchmark prices. A Bloomberg survey estimated prices in Asia, the kingdom’s top market, would rise by $0.40 per barrel.
Elsewhere, Saudi Aramco hiked prices by $0.20 a barrel for all US grades, while northwest Europe and the Mediterranean saw declines. While Asian prices for the company’s light oil was flat, its medium and heavy-grade crude prices ticked up in Asia by $0.25.
Last month, Saudi Aramco also lowered prices in Europe and raised them in the US.
The latest shakeup in prices comes a day after OPEC+ slashed its production quota by 2 million barrels per day, or roughly 2% of global oil supply.
The cut was seen as a defeat for US President Joe Biden, who has been pressing OPEC’s de facto leader, Saudi Arabia, for an output boost that would ease fuel prices.
On Wednesday, the White House accused OPEC+ of “aligning with Russia” by lowering its quota, which comes at a time when “maintaining a global supply of energy is of paramount importance”.
Analysts are noting the heightened political environment of OPEC’s moves, as fresh European sanctions on Russian oil loom later this year, as well as a price cap on Moscow’s crude.
“This is hugely political and a very clear signal of OPEC’s discontent regarding the price cap,” Amrita Sen, chief oil analyst at Energy Aspects, told the Financial Times. “Regardless of whether the price cap is actually effective, they see this as a dangerous precedent.”