Monday’s question by the State Department about whether President Joe Biden requested that Saudi Arabia delay oil cuts in order to make way for the midterms was dodged by the State Department.
Dylan Housman, The Daily Caller, asked if the State Department could confirm that the administration tried to stop Saudi Arabia from cutting its oil production after the Saudis claimed Biden had pressured them to do so. Housman noted that U.S. officials weren’t invited to the Saudi investment conference, which was scheduled for the end the month. This is a departure from previous years.
Patel stated that the U.S. presented to Saudi Arabia an analysis showing that cutting oil production would be counterintuitive with the sanctions that have been placed on Russia by the U.S., and that the Saudi’s could delay that decision for a few months.
OPEC+ announced that they would reduce output by two million barrels per hour on Oct. 5. The White House threatened to take legal action.
Wednesday’s statement by Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister claimed that the Biden administration had pressured OPEC+ into extending oil production cuts to November. This production cut would have taken place just days before the midterm elections, which could have adversely affected Democrats at the polls. Adrienne Watson, spokesperson for the National Security Council, said that Biden’s request to cut production was not politically motivated and that it was “categorically false” to link this to U.S. election.