If Saudi Arabia did not appear in your news feed for the past two days, then you have missed what has been perhaps one of the most important news stories of not only the past couple of days, but perhaps of the past year, if not the past decade or century, while most of the U.S. population is being distracted by entertainment news as the clown circus show in Florida took their act to Manhattan today.
First, out of nowhere, Saudi Arabia shocked the western financial world yesterday (Sunday, April 2, 2023), by announcing that OPEC was going to reduce oil production by over 1 million barrels per day.
In the latest in a long series of slaps on Biden’s face, on Sunday OPEC+ unexpectedly announced an oil production reduction of over 1 million barrels per day, limiting output from May. Saudi Arabia spearheaded the cartel’s efforts by committing to a 500,000-barrel reduction of its own production.
According to the Saudi Press Agency, a Ministry of Energy official stated the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will “implement a voluntary cut of 500 thousand barrels per day from May till the end of 2023.”
The cut will be in coordination with other OPEC and non-OPEC participating countries in the declaration of cooperation, the state-run media outlet continued.
“This voluntary cut is in addition to the reduction in production agreed at the 33rd OPEC and non-OPEC Ministerial Meeting on October 5, 2022,” the paper pointed out.
Other members, such as Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, and Algeria, also joined in the reduction efforts.
Previously, Russia had pledged to cut its crude-only output by 500,000 barrels per day in March in response to Western sanctions, including price caps on its oil and petroleum production, and to keep those curbs in place through June, but has now extended its pledged cuts through the end of the year.
Here are the reductions per country:
- *SAUDI ARABIA TO CUT OIL OUTPUT BY 500,000 BARRELS/DAY FROM MAY
- *KUWAIT TO VOLUNTARY CUT OIL PRODUCTION BY 128,000 BARRELS/DAY
- *UAE TO REDUCE OIL PRODUCTION BY 144,000 BARRELS/DAY FROM MAY
- *KAZAKHSTAN TO CONTRIBUTE 78K B/D TO OPEC+ OUTPUT CUT: MINISTRY
- *IRAQ TO CUT 211,000 B/D OF OIL OUTPUT FROM MAY: MINISTRY
- *ALGERIA TO CUT 48K B/D OF OIL OUTPUT FROM MAY TO END 2023: APS
- *OMAN TO CONTRIBUTE 40K B/D TO OPEC+ PRODUCTION CUT: DELEGATE
A spokesperson for the National Security Council at the White House has responded to OPEC+’s decision to cut crude production by 1 million barrels/day by saying that “output cuts aren’t advisable right now given market uncertainty,” adding that The White House”will continue to work with all producers and consumers to ensure energy markets support economic growth and lower prices for American consumers.”
Helima Croft, head of commodity strategy at RBC Capital Markets, said Saudi Arabia was staking out an economic strategy independent of the US, after a deterioration in relations between Riyadh and Washington during the Biden administration.
“It’s a Saudi-first policy. They’re making new friends, as we saw with China,” Croft said, referring to a recent Beijing-brokered diplomatic deal between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
The Kingdom was sending a message to the US that “it’s no longer a unipolar world”. (Source.)
The U.S. financial news publishers were very busy today trying to process what just happened. There are concerns that this move will now cause more inflation in the U.S.
Warning: Inflation is About to Explode Higher Again…
By Graham Summers, MBA
OPEC shocked the world by announcing oil production cuts of 1.6 million barrels per day starting in May.
This is a big deal for inflation.
Because as I have noted previously, the ONLY inflation data that had come down in the last 12 months was in energy prices. And that was due to the Biden administration dumping 250 million barrels of oil in the open market while OPEC was maintaining its regular production rates.
See the data for yourself… literally everything but energy prices and used car prices continues to rise…
But now OPEC is cutting production at the same time that the Biden administration is set to STOP dumping oil on the market.
What does this mean?
Energy prices are about to erupt higher, pushing inflation to new highs.
Oil is already back at $80 a barrel, up from $66 per barrel a few weeks ago.
Read the full article here.
As I previously reported, there are signs the Biden Administration is panicking over Saudi Arabia’s recent actions in establishing new relationships with their former enemy and also oil-rich country, Iran, as well as deciding to start selling oil directly to China for yuans, rather than U.S. dollars.
They have approved new oil drilling ventures in both Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico in recent days.
And then today, Dave DeCamp reported that the U.S. is rethinking their relationship with Iran and current sanctions against that country.
The Biden administration has spoken with European allies and Israel about a potential interim deal with Iran that would give the Islamic Republic some sanctions relief in exchange for a freeze of some aspects of its civilian nuclear program, Axios reported Monday.
The report cited unnamed Israeli officials and Western diplomats and said the idea would be to get Iran to stop enriching uranium at 60% in exchange for some sanctions relief. The 60% enrichment is the highest level Iran has ever achieved, but it is still below the 90% needed for weapons-grade uranium. The Pentagon acknowledged in its new Nuclear Posture Review that Iran is not trying to build a nuclear weapon. (Source.)
So just like that, the U.S. now admits that Iran is not trying to build a nuclear bomb. Were they ever?
With the announcement of OPEC yesterday, cracks are forming among the nations in the Anti-Russian sanctions, as Japan has decided to start purchasing oil from Russia.
Anti-Russia Alliance Splinters As Japan Buys Russian Oil At Price Above Cap; Others To Follow
Today OPEC+ woke up and chose scorched-earth war against the Fed.
OPEC’s shocking shot across the Fed and Biden bow revealed in its intention to keep oil prices high even as central banks push the world into a recession, just made life for the central planners very difficult, as the sordid stench of stagflation is suddenly all over the place.
As the WSJ reports today, one of Washington’s closest allies in Asia is now buying oil at prices above the cap, in effect breaking with the sanctions regime imposed by US allies.
As the note adds, Japan got the U.S. to agree to the exception, saying it needed it to ensure access to Russian energy. The concession shows Japan’s reliance on Russia for fossil fuels, which analysts said contributed to a hesitancy in Tokyo to back Ukraine more fully in its war with Russia. It also shows why the price cap was imposed at a level where it doesn’t actually adversely impact Russian oil exports. But the current price surge means that unless the price cap is lifted, the U.S. alliance is about to shoot itself in the leg. (Full article.)
So as the U.S. now looks to start building their own energy infrastructure, there is another domestic problem with that plan: the banks that would normally fund such developments, are failing.
America’s LNG Problems Hit Banking Crisis Snags
The banking crisis that started with the failure of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) is putting major U.S. LNG projects at risk, as rising interest rates and supply chain issues introduce financial challenges that have already led to delays.
According to Reuters, two of four new projects that were slated for final investment decisions in Q1 of this year have seen the deadlines extended. Reuters cited Kpler’s lead natural gas analyst Eleni Papadopoulou as raising “concerns that banking lending activity might be pulled back” and we might see more FID delays due to the banking crisis.
The delays are tied to export terminal projects by NextDecade and Energy Transfer LP, affected by rising interest rates, rising construction and labor costs and the disconnect between natural gas prices in the U.S. and the rest of the world. (Full article.)
Don’t Count Out the Rockefeller Oil Cartel Yet
It would be foolish, however, to count out the Rockefeller Oil Cartel yet, as the U.S. still has the largest military force in the world. The condition of U.S. troops, however, is questionable after mandating the deadly COVID-19 bioweapon shots for the military in 2021 through 2022, and the future of the U.S. military power is also questionable given that the all voluntary U.S. military is seeing declining enrollments in recruitments, which has also led to lower standards being adopted today to enter the U.S. military.
However, while higher energy costs could lead to a major financial crisis for the average American consumer, it will continue to provide what were record profits last year among America’s oil companies who will continue to profit from higher oil prices that will now probably follow from OPEC’s decision.
Saudi Arabia Revealed as Major U.S. Investor in Silicon Valley Venture Capitalists
And as if the announcement of the OPEC production reduction wasn’t already enough major breaking financial news on the first Monday in April, there is this explosive report published by The Information today:
Saudi Arabia Discloses Ties to Andreessen Horowitz, Dozens of Other Venture Funds
For several years, venture capital firms have been cagey about whether they have raised money from Saudi Arabia, following the 2018 murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in one of the country’s consulates. The Saudis, for their part, are no longer keeping quiet.
The venture arm of the Saudi Public Investment Fund, the country’s $620 billion sovereign wealth fund, has begun disclosing on its website its partnerships with nearly 40 U.S. VC firms and a handful of international funds. Among the relationships disclosed by the Saudi venture arm—known as Sanabil Investments—are connections to marquee investment firms Andreesseen Horowitz, Coatue Management, Craft Ventures and Insight Partners.
There have long been deep connections between Silicon Valley and Saudi Arabia, which has sought to diversify its economy away from oil while elevating its global influence. The country’s sovereign wealth fund was a big backer of SoftBank’s Vision Fund and has made a string of direct investments in tech companies, including an eye-popping $3.5 billion it put into Uber in 2016. It was also a big backer of the private equity firm Blackstone. And in April 2018, Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, made a widely publicized visit to Silicon Valley, meeting with Apple CEO Tim Cook and Google CEO Sundar Pichai.
That same year, Sam Altman, the entrepreneur and investor who is now CEO of OpenAI, stepped down from an advisory board for Neom, a futuristic city the Saudi government is building in the northwestern part of the country. Marc Andreessen, one of Andreessen Horowitz’s co-founders, was also on the Neom advisory board at the time, though it couldn’t be determined whether he is still on it. Following the Khashoggi murder in 2018, representatives of Andreessen Horowitz, Greyock and other venture firms declined to publicly discuss their limited partners.
For this story, a spokesperson for Andreessen Horowitz, along with 35 other investment firms listed on Sanabil’s website, either didn’t respond to requests for comment or declined to comment. Other venture firms Sanabil lists include Dragoneer Investment Group, Greenoaks Capital Partners, TCV, Eduardo Saverin’s B Capital Group, startup accelerators 500 Startups and Techstars, crypto fund Polychain Capital, Iconiq Capital and Race Capital, among others.
But tech’s effort to distance itself from Saudi Arabia has changed in recent years, in part due to a successful public relations campaign run out of New York to distance the sovereign wealth fund, led by Yasir Al-Rumayyan, from the politics of Riyadh. At the same time, U.S. investors are struggling with a more challenging fundraising environment and are hopeful the deep-pocketed funds in the Middle East will help them meet their ambitious fund targets.
Sovereign wealth funds from the region control more than $3 trillion, according to sovereign wealth fund tracker Global SWF. According to Sanabil’s website, it invests $2 billion a year in VC, growth and buyout funds. (Full article – Subscription need.)
Wow!! Talk about timing for Saudi Arabia to come out in the open and reveal that they have made massive investments into Silicon Valley venture capitalists for the past several years!
As Health Impact News readers well know after my headline article yesterday, since the banking crisis started last month, the Tech sector has been mostly holding up the economy in the U.S., mostly based on all the hype surrounding new Chat bot artificial intelligence development, which doesn’t even have a working model yet to produce revenue.
And now we find out today, the day after OPEC announced they are reducing oil production which will almost guarantee inflation will increase, and potentially spell doom to America’s small and regional banks, if not collapse the entire banking sector, that Saudi Arabia has been one of the major contributors of liquid assets into Silicon Valley?
Will they continue to invest in Silicon Valley and prop up the U.S. economy?
The entire U.S. economy now seems to be in the hands of Saudi Arabia…
Are We Observing the Days of Ishmael?
As I wrote in a recent article, we might be observing the days of Ishmael, the father of the Arab people and son of Abraham.
In most western countries where Christianity is the main religion, we know all about Abraham’s son Isaac, and Isaac’s son, Jacob, who was renamed as “Israel,” from the historical records in the Bible.
The man asked him, “What is your name?” “Jacob,” he answered. Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome.” (Genesis 32:27-28)
But Isaac was not the only son born to Abraham. Ishmael was also born to Abraham from the “Egyptian maidservant named Hagar.”
Seldom, if ever, have I heard Christians talk about the fact that God blessed Ishmael as well as Isaac, and made specific promises and prophecies regarding him also.
God said “yes” to Abraham’s request to bless Ishmael.
And Abraham said to God, “If only Ishmael might live under your blessing!”
Then God said, “Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him.
And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation. (Genesis 17:18-20)
So are the days of Ishmael here, and the fulfillment of God’s promises and prophecies made thousands of years ago to bless Ishmael?
Western countries like the U.S. have a very negative view, in general, of Arabs, primarily because the CIA and other intelligence agencies have taught westerners to hate people of Middle Eastern descent, and their most popular religion, which today is Islam.
However, the history of the Arab people, traced back to Ishmael in the Bible, existed for over 3000 years before Islam even began 600 years after Jesus Christ walked the earth, and even today, not all Arabs are Muslims. There are also millions of Christian Arabs, and historically there have also been Arab tribes who followed the Jewish religion.
As someone who has actually lived in Muslim countries for years in my earlier adult years, it pains me to see the prejudice in America, especially among the Right Wing alternative media, against Muslims, as if they are one homogeneous group, when in fact Islam is the dominant religion in many different countries among many different ethnic groups, which includes Southeast Asia, where the largest Muslim country in the world is Indonesia.
But Arabs do not derive their identity from religion, whether it be Islam or Christianity, or even Judaism. They have occupied the Middle East, and especially the Arab peninsula today known as Saudi Arabia, as long as the descendants of Jacob have lived in the Middle East.
The Arabs are a Semitic ethnic group, tracing their heritage back to Abraham, so if you are prejudiced against Arabs, you are the true “Antisemites” today, because many of the ethnic groups who call themselves “Jews” today are not even true descendants of Abraham.
Now, more than ever, it is time to put aside our religious prejudices. A New World Order is emerging, and we can no longer ignore the Biblical teaching on the promises and prophecies regarding the descendants of Ishmael.
I have stated many times in my writings, that I am anti-religion, ALL religions, Christianity as well.
Christians, Jews, and Muslims need to stop hating each other, and recognize that all religions have been used by Satan for very evil purposes.
Religion is not the answer to today’s world problems.
Jesus Christ, Isa Al-Mesih, Yeshua ha-Mashiach, or whatever other language you want to use to refer to the one who was born of the Virgin Mary, was executed, buried, and then raised from the dead, the person who has given his life as a ransom (Qurban) for humanity, is the answer, so that we can all come together in his name, as brothers and sisters.
For you are all children of God, through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
If you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring and heirs according to promise. (Galatians 3:26-29)
Don’t be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what is the good, well-pleasing, and perfect will of God.
For I say, through the grace that was given me, to every man who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think reasonably, as God has apportioned to each person a measure of faith.
For even as we have many members in one body, and all the members don’t have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. (Romans 12:2-5)
This is the message which we have heard from him and announce to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
If we say that we have fellowship with him and walk in the darkness, we lie, and don’t tell the truth.
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us the sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:5-9)
**By Brian Shilhavy