US views OPEC+ increase as “small” but optimistic about its impact

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This content was published on August 03, 2022 – 18:45

Washington, 3 August (EFE) .- The United States considers the increase in oil production announced by OPEC+ to be “small” but remains optimistic about the impact that this and other factors could have on gasoline prices, he said this Wednesday Efe the Special Envoy for Energy, Amos J. Hochstein.

Hochstein was reacting to an announced decision by Saudi Arabia-Russia-led oil alliance OPEC+ to increase its September production by 0.22% (100,000 barrels more per day), one of the smallest increases in its history.

“It’s a small amount, that’s true. But when we see the results and the markets, we’re happy that prices are going down,” said Hochstein, who coordinates US energy policy at the State Department.

He stressed that oil prices in the market fell by 3% after the OPEC+ announcement.

However, he argued that Joe Biden’s administration understands that gasoline prices depend not only on OPEC+, but also on the need for European and American companies to increase production.

“We want the private sector in the United States and Europe, as well as OPEC countries, to continue to increase investment and increase production of gas and oil. So that we can have lower prices in the short and medium term,” he said.

Hochstein also said the government remains committed to accelerating the transition to renewable energy with investments in electric vehicles, for example.

The OPEC+ decision was adopted on the first monthly conference call by the group’s 23 countries since Biden’s mid-July trip to Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest exporter of crude oil, at which the president had urged to increase production at lower prices.

In her daily press briefing, White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre defended that it was “important” to go to Saudi Arabia, not just for the oil but also for announcements of further integrating Israel into the region to extend the ceasefire in the war in Yemen.

Jean-Pierre also assured that prices had already started falling since Biden announced his trip to Saudi Arabia.

The price of Texas Intermediate Oil (WTI), a benchmark indicator in the US, has risen to $91 today from $108 a barrel a month ago.

Meanwhile, the average price of a gallon of gasoline has risen to $4.1 today from an all-time high of $5 set in June, according to the United States Automobile Association (AAA, for its acronym).

In March, Biden also ordered the release of 180 million barrels of oil from US strategic reserves over the next six months in a bid to depress prices. EFE

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