Following the recent spike in international oil prices, the White House announced on the 18th (local time) that it remains committed to pressing OPEC member states on oil production issues. In a regular press briefing the same day, White House press secretary Jen Saki stated that “OPEC members continue to press one another to resolve the oil supply issue.” Earlier in recent weeks, it had stated that “we will use every tool at our disposal to address our energy supply.”
Late last month, White House security adviser Jake Sullivan made a secret visit to Saudi Arabia to discuss oil production increases. U.S. Secretary of State Tony Blincoln spoke with Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan al-Saud about a large-scale increase in production on the 14th, but OPEC did not budge.
The price of international oil has risen recently as the global economy gradually recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. Supply does not keep pace with demand. The price of West Texas Intermediate crude for the November contract closed at 82.44 cents on the New York Mercantile Exchange. This is a 0.2% increase from the previous day. It is the highest level in seven years.
OPEC+ is a consultative organization which includes OPEC countries, as well as non-member countries that produce oil.
OPEC+ predicts that West African oil producing countries will continue to disrupt production due to insufficient investment and maintenance.
Major oil-consuming countries, such as the United States, have called for an increase in production. However, Saudi Arabia (OPEC’s leader), indicated last week that OPEC would maintain a gradual increase in output. Saudi Energy Minister Abdulaziz bin Salman al-Saud did not address the increase query.
It is unsatisfactory to the EU that Russia uses the natural gas supply to pursue political objectives. Last week, President Putin said Russia has no intention of using gas supplies as a political weapon. He also said that if Europe needs more gas, Russia would increase supplies. Yet despite Putin’s promises, Russia’s natural gas supply continues to stagnate.