US urges OPEC, allies to pump more oil

US President Joe Biden’s top aides are pressuring OPEC and its allies to boost oil output to tackle rising petrol prices that they see as a threat to an economic recovery.

Biden’s national security adviser Jake Sullivan criticised the world’s major oil producers, including Saudi Arabia, for what he said were insufficient crude production levels following the global COVID-19 pandemic.

“At a critical moment in the global recovery, this is simply not enough,” he said in a statement.

US petrol prices are running at about $US3.18 a gallon at the pumps, up more than a US dollar from last year at this time, according to the American Automobile Association.

The unusual statement ratcheted up international pressure and comes as the administration tries to contain a range of rising prices and supply bottlenecks across the economy that have fuelled inflation concerns.

Biden has made recovering from the economic recession triggered by the pandemic a key priority for his administration.

Biden’s administration is pressing countries within OPEC+, which groups the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries with Russia and other big producers, “on the importance of competitive markets in setting prices,” Sullivan said.

“Higher gasoline costs, if left unchecked, risk harming the ongoing global recovery,” he added.

“OPEC+ must do more to support the recovery.”

International benchmark Brent crude was trading at about $US70 a barrel on Wednesday, down half a per cent, after the US issued its statement.

Extracted from The West Australian

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