Saudi Arabia’s push for oil production cuts has placed new strain on its stormy relationship with the United States, though analysts say any predictions of an all-out break are premature. The move last week by OPEC+ — composed of the Riyadh-led OPEC cartel and an additional group of 10 exporters headed by Russia — would reduce global output by up to two million barrels per day from November. Coming amid an energy crisis triggered by the war in Ukraine, and as inflation-weary American voters prepare to cast ballots in midterm elections, the planned cuts have infuriated Washington, with US President Joe Biden warning Tuesday of unspecified “consequences”. Saudi officials, for their part, have defended the move as purely motivated by economics, not politics, and dismissed charges from the White House that OPEC+ was “aligning with Russia”. Verbal sparring between the two sides continued on Thursday, with the Saudi foreign ministry expressing “total rejection” of such claims “which are not based on facts”. The ministry said it also rejected “any dictates, actions or efforts to distort its noble objectives to protect the global economy from oil market volatility”. In response, the White House said Riyadh “can try to spin or deflect, but the facts are simple.” Despite obvious rancour on both sides, it is unclear where the feud goes from here.