Let us cover the trends we are seeing and experiencing this October 2022.
In a series of posts, we will cover recent trends and see whether they lean towards one area or another when seen through biblical lenses.
When the events does not markedly weigh towards specific prophetic expected events, we will remain silent.
Vanity Fair:- Democrats Call to Punish Saudi Arabia Over OPEC’s Oil Cutbacks
Authored By:- Caleb Ecarma ( Published On:-2022-Oct-6th )
Mentioned:- Tom Malinowski, Sean Casten, and Susan Wild, Ro Khanna, Ruben Gallego
- Democratic lawmakers in Washington are demanding retaliatory measures against Saudi Arabia after OPEC, a bloc of major oil-producing countries, announced Wednesday that it will reduce oil production by 2 million barrels per day next month
- In a joint response, Democratic representatives Tom Malinowski, Sean Casten, and Susan Wild introduced a bill on Thursday that would pull US troops and weapons systems out of Saudi Arabia, the de facto leader of OPEC, and the United Arab Emirates, another top oil producer. “Both countries have long relied on an American military presence in the Gulf to protect their security and oil fields,” the three lawmakers wrote. “We see no reason why American troops and contractors should continue to provide this service to countries that are actively working against us. If Saudi Arabia and the UAE want to help [Vladimir] Putin, they should look to him for their defense.” After describing OPEC’s decision as a “turning point in our relationship with our Gulf partners,” Malinowski, Casten, and Wild demanded that the US start “acting like the superpower in our relationship with our client states in the Gulf.”
- Likewise, Representative Ro Khanna, a California Democrat, told The Washington Post that “[Joe] Biden should make it clear that we will stop supplying the Saudis with weapons and air parts if they fleece the American people and strengthen Putin by making drastic production cuts.” The congressman further asserted that the Saudis “[need] us far more than we need them.” (The Gulf kingdom in part relies on US arms and military support in Yemen, where it has waged years long war that’s reportedly led to hundreds of thousands of deaths.)
- Representative Ruben Gallego, the Democratic chair of the House Armed Services subcommittee, took a similar stance, urging the US to withdraw its Patriot missile-defense batteries, which have demonstrated mixed results in protecting Saudi Arabia from attacks launched on oil facilities and tankers in the Persian Gulf.
- The OPEC cut could serve as a much-needed revenue boon for Russia, the world’s third-largest oil producer. To limit the resources that Russia can put toward its war effort in Ukraine, the European Union has spent the past month preparing to enforce a price cap on Russian energy imports to its member states. But OPEC’s sudden 2% drop in global oil production could counteract this plan by driving the price of oil up and making desperate consumers more reliant on Russian gas.
Jamie Dimon, JP Morgan
- JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon said the US should pump more oil amid the world’s energy crisis, just days after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC, agreed to an production cut that is equivalent to 2% of the global supply.
- “Obviously, America needs to play a real leadership role — America is the swing producer, not Saudi Arabia,” Dimon told CNBC in an interview on Monday. “And we should have gotten that right starting in March. It’s almost too late to get it right because obviously, this is a longer-term investment.”
- Energy prices have gained sharply after Russia invaded Ukraine in February as Russia is a major exporter of oil and gas. Fears of a worsening energy crunch heightened in recent months after Russia started cutting natural-gas supplies to Europe — a development Dimon called “pretty predictable.”
- “In my view, America should have been pumping more oil and gas,” he told CNBC.
- The US is the world’s largest producer of oil, producing 18.9 million barrels of the fuel a day, per the Energy Information Administration. But the US is also the world’s largest consumer of oil, so exports are limited.
- By comparison, the de facto OPEC leader and major exporter Saudi Arabia produces 10.8 million barrels of oil a day but consumes just 3.2 million barrels daily, exporting the rest, the EIA said.
- And while the US has huge energy reserves, the industry’s exports are hitting maximum levels and can’t be boosted overnight, US shale producers told the Financial Times in the past few months.
- Dimon’s comments came days after OPEC and its allies agreed to slash oil output, in response to a weaker global economy. The White House said US President Joe Biden was “disappointed by the shortsighted decision.”
- Janet Yellen, the US Treasury secretary, echoed the sentiment and told the Financial Times in a Sunday interview that OPEC’s decision was “unhelpful and unwise.” She was speaking ahead of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank annual meetings in Washington this week, where soaring inflation will be a key discussion topic.
- Dimon told CNBC there’s a longer-term problem of the world not producing enough oil and gas, in order to reduce the use of coal and transition to renewable energy. Describing the issue as a “critical” one, he said “this should be treated almost as a matter of war at this point, nothing short of that,” he added.
- In the same interview, Dimon gave a gloomy forecast of the economy, predicting a recession for the US in the next six to nine months.
OPEC+ agrees deep oil production cuts, Biden calls it shortsighted
Ahmad Ghaddar, Alex Lawler, Rowena Edwards
- VIENNA/LONDON, Oct 5 (Reuters) – OPEC+ agreed steep oil production cuts on Wednesday, curbing supply in an already tight market, causing one of its biggest clashes with the West as the U.S. administration called the surprise decision shortsighted.
- OPEC’s de-facto leader Saudi Arabia said the cut of 2 million barrels per day (bpd) of output – equal to 2% of global supply – was necessary to respond to rising interest rates in the West and a weaker global economy.
- The kingdom rebuffed criticism it was colluding with Russia, which is included in the OPEC+ group, to drive prices higher and said the West was often driven by “wealth arrogance” when criticising the group.
- The White House said President Joe Biden would continue to assess whether to release further strategic oil stocks to lower prices.
- U.S. officials have said part of the reason Washington wants lower oil prices is to deprive Moscow of oil revenue. Biden travelled to Riyadh this year but failed to secure any firm cooperation commitments on energy. Relations have been further strained as Saudi Arabia has not condemned Moscow’s actions in Ukraine.
- The cut in oil supplies decided in Vienna on Wednesday could spur a recovery in oil prices that have dropped to about $90 from $120 three months ago on fears of a global economic recession, rising U.S. interest rates and a stronger dollar.
- Saudi Energy Minister Abdulaziz bin Salman said OPEC+ had needed to be pro-active as central banks around the world moved to “belatedly” tackle soaring inflation with higher interest rates.
- Wednesday’s production cuts of 2 million bpd are based on existing baseline figures, which means the cuts would be less deep because OPEC+ fell about 3.6 million barrels per day short of its output target in August.
- Under-production happened because of Western sanctions on countries such as Russia, Venezuela and Iran and output problems with producers such as Nigeria and Angola.
- Prince Abdulaziz said the real cuts would be 1.0-1.1 million bpd.
- Analysts from Jefferies said they estimated the figure at 0.9 million bpd, while Goldman Sachs put it at 0.4-0.6 million bpd saying cuts would mainly come from Gulf OPEC producers such as Saudi Arabia, Iraq, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait.
- The West has accused Russia of weaponising energy, with soaring gas prices and a scramble to find alternatives creating a crisis in Europe that could trigger gas and power rationing this winter.
- Moscow, meanwhile, accuses the West of weaponising the dollar and financial systems such as the international payments mechanism SWIFT in retaliation for Russia sending troops into Ukraine in February.
- Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak, who was put on the U.S. special designated nationals sanctions list last week, also travelled to Vienna to participate in meetings.
- Novak is not under EU sanctions. He and other members of OPEC+ agreed to extend the cooperation deal with OPEC by another year to the end of 2023.
- The next OPEC+ meeting will take place on Dec 4. OPEC+ will move to meeting every six months instead of monthly meetings.
JACKIE NORTHAM, NPR international affairs correspondent
- It wasn’t just the sheer size of the cut in oil production by OPEC+. It was also the timing – coming about three months after President Biden visited Saudi Arabia to lobby against such a reduction and just ahead of the midterm elections here in the U.S., where prices at the gas pump could have an effect on voters.
- Some members of Congress want to freeze weapon sales to Saudi Arabia or to initiate price fixing cases against OPEC+.
John Kirby, Spokesman for the National Security Council
- In light of the recent decision by OPEC and Saudi Arabia’s leadership, he does believe that this is a good time to reevaluate and see what that relationship ought to look like going forward.
Jonathan Panikoff, director of the Scowcroft Middle East Security Initiative at the Atlantic Council
- It feels punitive against the Biden administration, and I think it’s hard to think it’s otherwise because the Saudis aren’t naïve about the U.S. political situation. It may not have been the core reason for doing it, but they absolutely were happy to do it.
- The Atlantic Council’s Panikoff says this incident represents a profound shift in U.S.-Saudi relations, and much of that has to do with Saudi’s de facto leader, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
- I don’t think we’ve fully accepted the notion that he is a different leader than we’ve ever dealt with, and so we’re going to have to have a different relationship.
- Panikoff says the crown prince is a transactional leader and that the U.S. will have to decide if it wants to spend time and energy rebuilding its strategic relationship with the kingdom or become more transactional as well.
- Panikoff says that could affect Saudi Arabia’s security guarantees.
- Maybe we don’t sell the more advanced aircraft, or maybe the training exercises are on older generation hardware. And maybe, yes, we remove some Patriot Batteries and say, look, we recognize your security. We’re not trying to diminish it. We have to balance our security goals as well.
Firas Maksad, senior fellow at the Middle East Institute
- Says Saudi Arabia has legitimate business reasons for the cut. They’re seeking higher prices now in case a global recession reduces demand later. And he says that despite concerted U.S. attempts to talk them out of a production cut, all 24 members of OPEC+ were on board with it.
- This is a decision that was not just Saudi. It was unanimous, and it was driven by economics and market dynamics rather than politics.
- But Maksad with the Middle East Institute says the Gulf region is no longer beholden to the U.S. and has the right to look for other options.
- They are building bridges to China – which, by the way, accounts for over a quarter of oil exports from Saudi Arabia – and also with Russia that had been sort of expanding its role in the Middle East.
Jason Bordoff, director of Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy
- Many in D.C. view the Saudis now as aligning themselves with Russia at a time when Russian troops are killing Ukrainians and the reduced Russian energy exports are plunging much of the world into an energy crisis.
Saudi foreign minister, Farhan bin Faisal (ph)
- Today, the Saudi foreign minister, Farhan bin Faisal (ph), said Saudi Arabia’s ties with the U.S. are strategic and have advanced the security and stability in the region, and that the oil cut was made purely for economic reasons.
The Cut back by OPEC+ is about 2 million barrels or 2%.
Economic sanctions on countries such as Russia, Venezuela and Iran have drained available oil.
As well as production problems being experienced by Africa countries such as Nigeria and Angola.
JP Morgan’s Jamie Dimon is asking the Biden Administration to encourage more drilling in the United States.
The Biden Administration has been availing oil from the “Strategic Petroleum Reserve”.
And, that has helped stabilize the cost of petroleum.
Biblical Prophetic Perspective
Agreeably, there is a lot going behind the scene.
A lot of calculation, positioning, and careful wording.
In the future those may materialize and have meaningful effect.
As it stands today, I do not see enough indication of a calamitous prophetic events.
I think some of the anxiety are more:-
- Federal Reserve
- Federal Reserve war on inflation
- Main Street
- Day to day gas prices
- Federal Reserve
- Upcoming US mid-term elections in November 2022
- Fight for US Congress
- Intra-Party infighting in Congress
- Impact President Biden’s Agenda