US President Joe Biden’s administration urged the OPEC+ to boost oil output to tackle rising gasoline prices
Prices of oil were steady on Thursday after two days of gains following a call from the US, the world’s top oil consumer, for major producers to boost output, reinforced supply concerns as nations ease pandemic restrictions.
Brent crude futures rose 5 cents to $71.49 a barrel by 0216 GMT, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures edged higher by 4 cents to $69.29.
US President Joe Biden’s administration on Wednesday urged the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, known as OPEC+, to boost oil output to tackle rising gasoline prices that they see as a threat to the global economic recovery.
Data from the US Energy Information Administration on Wednesday showed that fuel demand in the top global crude user has averaged 20.6 million barrels per day (bpd) over the past four weeks, nearly in line with 2019 levels, and US refiners slightly raised the amount of crude they processed last week.
In July, OPEC agreed to boost output each month by 400,000 bpd over the previous month, starting in August, until the rest of their record cuts of 10 million bpd, about 10 per cent of world demand, made in 2020 are phased out.
However, there are still concerns that the increase will not be enough to meet demand as the US and Europe ease their pandemic-induced movement restrictions.
The Biden Administration said that the recently agreed production increases will not fully offset previous production cuts imposed during the pandemic, said ANZ in a note.
Later, the White House said its outreach to OPEC+ is ongoing and aimed at long-term engagement, not necessarily an immediate response.