US Officials Have Secret Oil Deal with Saudis. Or So They Think.

After Saudi leaders pushed to cut oil output despite a visit by President Biden, American officials were left angry that they were being duped.

WASHINGTON — As President Biden planned a politically risky trip to Saudi Arabia this summer, his top aides thought they had struck a secret deal to increase oil production through the end of the year — an arrangement that could help justify breaking campaign promises to evade the kingdom and its crown prince. .

It didn't work like that.

Mr Biden continued his journey. But earlier this month, Saudi Arabia and Russia directed a group of oil-producing nations in a vote to cut oil output by two million barrels per day, the opposite of a result the government said it had guaranteed as Democrats struggled to contain inflation. and high gas prices ahead of the November elections.

The move prompted angry Biden administration officials to reassess America's relationship with the kingdom and resulted in a series of accusatory statements between the two governments - including White House accusations that Saudi Arabia helped Russia in its war in Ukraine.

Lawmakers who have been briefed on the benefits of travel in secret briefings and other conversations that include details of the oil deal - which were previously undisclosed and supposed to lead to a spike in production between September and December - have been left angry that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is defrauding the government.

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