While Western countries are trying to stem the rise in energy prices, those of OPEC, the Organization of Petroleum Producing States, announced on Wednesday, October 5, that they had agreed to a reduction of their production quotas, in order to support prices. Thus, the thirteen member countries and their ten partners plan to cut their production by two million barrels per day in November, the largest reduction since 2020. In recent weeks, the price of crude has fallen, which worries producers, ( it evolves around 90 dollars per barrel and was at 140 dollars in March). Back in Vienna, Austria, for the first time since March 2020, the members of the organization wanted to mark the occasion, after long months in videoconference due to anti-Covid restrictions.
This decision, which will raise the price of fuel, angered the United States. In a statement, Joe Biden said he was "disappointed with this short-sighted decision", and announced an upcoming congressional consultation "on additional tools and mechanisms to reduce cartel control over energy prices". . "There is a reason why Russia is in favor of this cut: it is not sure of finding buyers for its oil", commented, for his part, the CEO of TotalEnergies Patrick Pouyanné, on the sidelines of a conference in London.
Faced with these criticisms of the impact for consumers, the Saudi Minister of Energy, Abdel Aziz ben Salmane, advanced "the various uncertainties" hovering over the world economy. Bruno Jean-Richard Itoua, Congolese Minister of Hydrocarbons, also defended the desire of the group of producers to "fight against volatility", "fuelled by speculation".
In addition to causing a possible social uproar in many countries that are already suffering from high inflation, this drop in world oil production goes against the policy of sanctions that Westerners have adopted against Russia. Indeed, as a producer, Moscow will be able to benefit from a significant inflow of money, while the European Union has planned an embargo on Russian oil from December.