Saudi Arabia has issued a stern warning to Western countries that are considering imposing a cap on the price of crude oil supplied by the kingdom, saying that such a move would trigger a halt of sales and production cuts.
Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said on Tuesday that any attempts to interfere with the market forces that determine the price of oil would be met with a strong response from the world’s largest oil exporter and its allies in OPEC and OPEC+.
He said that Saudi Arabia would not tolerate any “artificial” measures to lower the price of oil, which has soared to over $80 a barrel in recent months, amid rising demand and supply disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, geopolitical tensions and natural disasters.
He added that other major oil producers, such as Russia, Iraq and the United Arab Emirates, would most likely follow suit and join Saudi Arabia in an oil embargo if Western countries tried to impose a price cap.
Saudi Arabia, which has been increasing its oil production and exports in recent months to meet the growing demand, has accused some Western countries of being hypocritical and inconsistent in their energy policies, saying that they have been pushing for a transition to renewable energy sources while also demanding more oil from OPEC.
The minister said that Saudi Arabia was committed to providing a stable and reliable supply of oil to the global market, but also urged Western countries to respect the market dynamics and refrain from politicizing energy issues.