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Biden won't ask Saudis to raise oil production as gas prices hover near records

·Senior Reporter
·2 min read

President Biden said Thursday he would not ask Saudi Arabia individually to increase its oil production on his forthcoming visit to the Kingdom, but would instead encourage all Gulf States to increase oil output.

Speaking during a press conference at the NATO Summit on Thursday, the president said, “I’m not going to ask them” when asked whether he would ask the King or Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia to increase oil production on his forthcoming trip.

"All the Gulf States are meeting. I’ve indicated to them that I thought they should be increasing oil production generically, not the Saudis particularly, and I think that we see them in their own interest concluding that make sense to do," Biden said.

U.S. President Joe Biden holds a news conference before departing the NATO summit at the IFEMA arena in Madrid, Spain, June 30, 2022. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Joe Biden holds a news conference before departing the NATO summit at the IFEMA arena in Madrid, Spain, June 30, 2022. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

On Thursday, OPEC+ — the international oil cartel effectively led by Saudi Arabia – held a meeting via video conference where the group decided not to further increase oil production from its previously announced plans. The group will meet again August 3.

Biden's comments come as gas prices hover near record highs in the U.S., with the average price of a gallon topping $5 nationally for first time ever earlier this month.

In May, U.S. inflation matched a 41-year high, rising 8.6% over the prior year with the cost of energy rising nearly 35% — the biggest increase since 2005.

The price of crude oil is up over 40% this year, and up over 20% since Russia began its war in Ukraine.

When asked how long it is fair to expect American drivers to pay a premium because of the war in Ukraine, Biden said: “As long as it takes. Russia cannot in fact defeat Ukraine and move beyond Ukraine.”

Jennifer Schonberger covers cryptocurrencies and policy for Yahoo Finance. Follow her at @Jenniferisms.

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