Oman's oil minister thinks President Donald Trump has given OPEC some undue flak. But echoing other Gulf ministers, Mohammed bin Hamad al-Rumhi stressed his desire to steer clear of political animosity with the American leader, appearing keen to give him the benefit of the doubt.
"Sometimes he hasn't been fair," al-Rumhi told CNBC's Hadley Gamble while at the Atlantic Council's Global Energy Forum in Abu Dhabi. "I'm sure he has good intention too, he thinks he is representing the people of the U.S. and he thinks this is the way to do it."
"Nobody wants volatility, I am sure Trump doesn't want volatility, because volatility is difficult to manage," he said. Trump has spent months vocally criticizing the 14-member cartel for its management of oil output, urging the group to keep the taps open and oil prices low. "OPEC is ripping us off," Trump said in a tweet last October.
In December, OPEC members along with Russia reached an agreement to cut their crude production by 1.2 million barrels of oil per day from the market in order to stem the fall in prices, something that further drew Trump's ire.
"Unfortunately there are politics, but sometimes the politics forces people to go to the social media or to CNBC to present their case. And that is the reality of today," the minister said.