OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum and Exporting Countries) and allied oil-producing countries have rebuffed pressure from U.S. President Biden to extract much more oil and lower gasoline prices for American motorists, deciding to stick to their plan of cautious monthly increases.
The OPEC + alliance, made up of OPEC members led by Saudi Arabia and non-members led by Russia, approved a production increase of 400,000 barrels per day starting in December.
This is in line with OPEC's roadmap to add this (minimum) amount of oil to the market every month, until next year.
The plan is to open the oil taps little by little - even though oil prices have risen to seven - year highs-until the deep production cuts made during the pandemic are recovered.
Prince Abdul Aziz Bin Salman, Saudi Arabia's Energy Minister, commented:
"We decided on an increase in production that was not expected, at least until the beginning of May 2022, and out of pure spirit of responsibility we anticipated it".
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Alexander Novak: "The decision was made earlier, between July and August: increase production by 400,000 barrels per day each month of each month until, essentially, the end of 2022," he said.
The decision of oil producers did not go down to Biden, who made repeated appeals to pump more oil.
Among the commentators of the events of the White House, someone pointed out to President Biden that asking to extract more oil a few days after attending the COP26 conference against pollution is not really very "ethical"…
The U.S. used the G20 summit last weekend in Rome to consult with other oil-consuming and importing countries on how to exert influence on the producing countries and what to do if the Saudis and Russians continue to restrict the extraction of so-called "Black Gold".
"Our view is that the global recovery should not be jeopardized by an imbalance between supply and demand," the White House National Security Council said in a statement.
"OPEC+ seems unwilling to use the capacity and power it now has at this critical time of global recovery for countries around the world," he said.
According to Saudi Arabia, one of the world's top producers, OPEC+ is playing an important role as a market regulator, comparing the relative stability of the oil market to wild swings in natural gas prices, which have risen more than fivefold since the beginning of the year, against a backdrop of a global fossil fuel crisis.
OPEC + caution means higher prices worldwide and more revenue for producing countries. Slower increases also mean less risk of increasing production too fast and suddenly sending prices soaring. Just as manufacturers prepare for the possibility of further economic turmoil due again to last winter's Covid and supply chain backups, labor shortages and rising consumer prices, which are threatening the global recovery.
Suhail Almazrouei, Energy Minister of the United Arab Emirates, said that "oil markets should be in surplus early next year and that the gradual roadmap is taking us smoothly to that position, where supply and demand will `rebalance in the first and second quarters".
Oil prices in the United States fell a bit this week, having reached their highest level since 2014.
After OPEC+ "No" to Biden, oil is trading at $ 81.39 per barrel, at The Mercantile NEOR
Brent, the international benchmark, was trading at $ 82.74, down from more than $ 86 last week.
President Biden this week blamed Russia and other OPEC + countries for rising oil and fuel prices.
From the White House there are no rumors, but the Biden administration will certainly take some decisive action against the oil-producing countries that have done this "shambles"to him.
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