Saudi Arabia willing to raise oil production if global crisis deepens: energy minister
He described the controversial decision by OPEC+ to cut oil output earlier this month as "mature", arguing the move was made in case an unforeseen event - such as sanctions on Russia's oil output - caused a sudden drop in supply, The Financial Times reported on Tuesday
"You need to make sure you build a situation where if things [get] worse you have the ability to [respond]," Prince Abdulaziz told the Future Investment Initiative investor conference in Riyadh. The event has been dubbed the 'Davos of the Desert'.
"Running out of capacity has a much dearer cost than what people can imagine... We will be the supplier of those who want us to supply."
Prince Abdulaziz presented Saudi Arabia as the "mature" partner in the row over oil production with the US and appeared to criticise Washington's decision to dip into its oil reserves once OPEC+ announced cuts last month.
"We, as Saudi Arabia, decided to be the maturer guys," he told The Financial Times.
"People are depleting their emergency stocks . . . [using] it as a mechanism to manipulate markets when its profound purpose is to mitigate shortages of supply."
The cut in oil production by the Saudi-led OPEC+ - a group of oil producers that includes Russia - has led to a significant rift between Riyadh and Washington.
The US has accused the organisation of propping up Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The move to cut supplies will raise the global price of oil and will likely benefit Moscow.
It was seen as an indicator of tension between the US and Saudi Arabia, fuelled by reported personality animosity between President Joe Biden and Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman.
Both nations are reportedly re-evaluating their ties, amid speculation that there could be a a significant change in their 80-year-long relationship which has long underpinned the global economy.