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Saudis may boost oil production after Biden admin shields crown prince from punishment in death of Jamal Khashoggi

A production increase of up to 500,000 barrels a day is now under discussion for OPEC’s December 4 meeting, delegates said.

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Saudi Arabia and other OPEC nations are reportedly considering increasing their oil production just days after Biden announced that he would grant immunity to Saudi Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman for his alleged role in the brutal murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

A production increase of up to 500,000 barrels a day is now under discussion for OPEC’s December 4 meeting, delegates said, according to the Wall Street Journal.



Just last month, OPEC announced that it would be slashing oil production by close to 2 million barrels per day, forcing Biden to dig deeper into the rapidly-depleting US Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

A boost in oil production would go a long way towards lessening US dependence on Russian oil, particularly in anticipation of a planned embargo that the EU and other industrialized nations plan to announce on December 5.
 

Last week, the Biden administration determined that Saudi Arabian Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman ought to be granted immunity in a lawsuit filed against him by the fiancée of Khashoggi and the rights group he founded, Democracy for the Arab World Now.

"Jamal died again today," Khashoggi's fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, tweeted upon hearing the news. "The United States state department has granted immunity to MBS [Mohammed bin Salman ]. It wasn't a decision everyone expected. We thought maybe there would be a light to justice from USA. But again, money came first."

Despite the Biden administration's support of legal immunity for bin Salman, it is ultimately non-binding and could very well be invalidated by a judge. 

The administration argued that bin Salman's recent appointment to the position of prime minister rendered him off-limits.

At the time the lawsuit was filed, bin Salman held the title of Crown Prince, which did not grant him immunity by US standards. Just days before the Biden administration was set to determine whether immunity should be granted, bin Salman's father appointed him to his post as prime minister.

Khashoggi was murdered in Istanbul on October 2, 2018. His body has never been found.
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