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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Saudi Gazette report
WASHINGTON — Saudi Arabia’s doesn’t use oil as a weapon. This is simply not how it conducts its oil policy, said Fahad Nazer, the spokesman for the Embassy of Saudi Arabia in the United States during a radio interview on Tuesday.
Rebuffing the baseless accusations of price manipulation to hurt the interests of the United States, the spokesman said: “Oil revenues are very important for the Kingdom and they are a bigger part of our economy than they are in the United States. The ultra-low oil prices do not benefit us but in fact hurt us.”
As the coronavirus pandemic and the collapse in oil prices have dealt a devastating big blow to oil producing countries and their economies, they have almost crushed the US shale industry.
Oil fields in the United States from Texas and New Mexico to Oklahoma and North Dakota have shut with thousands of workers losing their jobs. As a result of which the politicians from these areas are facing the wrath of their constituents and they in turn are piling pressure on the US administration to do something to arrest the collapse of the shale industry in the country with some of them like, Senator Kevin, are being too vocal.
“If you look at the history of the Kingdom’ oil policy going back over 40 years, Saudi Arabia has always put a high premium on stable international energy market. It has always advocated for moderate prices that are fair to both producers and consumers. And it has stressed the value of burden sharing among the producers,” Nazar said in response to certain misgivings among US public as well as some politicians with regard to the falling oil price.
He said the Saudi leadership is in regular contact with the US administration over the issue. Saudi Ambassador to the US, Princess Reema Bint Bandar Al-Saud, has also had constructive and fruitful talks with many US senators recently.
He added the Kingdom is doing everything it could do to bring back stability in the international market. Realizing the gravity of the situation, it orchestrated a historic agreement of OPEC plus countries last month to cut production by 9.7 million barrels a day.
Addressing the concerns of the people and politicians from the US shale states, the spokesman said: “The Unites States is our most important strategic partner and ally in the world and the biggest trading partner. What’s good for the United States economy is good for Saudi Arabia’s economy. Oil prices have hurt us as much as they hurt the shale sector and the American economy. We are doing everything we can to bring the stability back in the international market.”
He also said Saudi Arabia has always been a promoter of free trade, it has always believed in the global economy. The Kingdom does not engage in the policies to attack or target any sector or any other economy, especially the United States.
“We understand the shale sector and the energy sector in the United States are feeling the impact of the coronavirus but frankly we are also feeling its impact. Our finance minister said the other day that there would a budget deficit this year. Our revenues are down but we had to increase our spending in some of the sectors and individuals who have been hit hard,” he added.
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