Bloomberg: Bin Salman Ignores Biden, Hikes Oil Prices
An article written in Bloomberg analyzes US President Joe Biden's struggle with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to get America's hands on more Saudi Arabian oil - among other desperations.
An article written in Bloomberg analyzes US President Joe Biden's struggle with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to get America's hands on more Saudi Arabian oil. Inflation in the United States is upon its people, felt by the rich and poor, and the price of petrol is on the rise in parallel - increasing on a daily basis.
In late October, Biden addressed Saudi Arabia as well as Russia: "The idea that Russia and Saudi Arabia and other major producers are not going to pump more oil so people can have gasoline to get to and from work, for example, is not right."
In private and in public, US envoys have spent time trying to convince Saudi Arabia to provide more crude oil ASAP; however, the one with the ultimate power to not only shift the oil prices but also fulfill those demands is bin Salman, who Biden hasn't spoken to yet since assuming office.
Despite the cries of US diplomats, the prince bypassed the requests. MBS, according to Bloomberg, had more business in the economic bases of his decision when it comes to oil rather than the political needs of the United States. Biden wants cheaper petroleum, but they're also not fulfilling bin Salman's requests along with that, which entails access to the White House.
What is strange is that Biden has only spoken to King Salman, Prince Mohammad's father, refusing to deal directly with MBS, especially after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist.
Without directly addressing MBS, Joe Biden threw a comment: “There’s a lot of Middle Eastern folks who want to talk to me... I’m not sure I’m going to talk to them.”
When Biden did not acquire the oil he was opting for, he started tapping the US strategic petroleum reserve, which may have some potential repercussions from the Saudi side.
Bin Salman, though, is enjoying the attention: with the oil price hike and Biden's attention, bin Salman knew that the overflow of cash into the kingdom has made the country a substantial hub for global investment. The Public Investment Fund, which bin Salman controls, aims to grow to $1 trillion by 2025.
“Saudi Arabia is in a strong position,” said Jason Bordoff, dean of the Columbia Climate School and a former senior White House energy official while Barack Obama was in office. “Oil demand is going up, not down; US shale is not what used to be, and for the foreseeable future the world is going to need more Saudi oil.”
In terms of prices, a US diplomat commented: Higher oil prices have “strengthened Saudi Arabia’s position both financially and politically,” said David Rundell, a former US diplomat who has spent a lot of time in Saudi Arabia, adding, “Mohammed Bin Salman’s position will become even more secure.”
Biden, this year, revealed a report which exposes bin Salman's ordering of the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, which strained US-Saudi ties, despite the prince's legalization of women to drive, openness to cinema, and more reformist policies which added "modernization" to the kingdom's social fabric.
A foot into the White House is not the only thing bin Salman wants: he has also been seeking attention from Biden to help end Riyadh's war on Yemen, as well as military funds to counter-drone attacks that threaten Saudi Arabia's oil-producing capabilities.
Saudi Arabia is the main driver of the oil market today, and its alliance with Russia - which is at its strongest point today - has only intimidated the US further.
Biden, till now, still refuses to speak to MBS despite the fact that he's desperate to lower petrol prices in his country.
“Whatever the U.S. is offering MBS in return, it is just not enough to persuade him to pump more oil,” said Neil Quilliam, an associate fellow in the Middle East and North Africa program at Chatham House. “The U.S. has to offer something big to get the Saudis to change course - and that must include a bilateral meeting between Biden and MBS.”