WASHINGTON, DC — A U.S. energy envoy said he was confident Gulf producers would boost oil production after President Joe Biden visited Saudi Arabia, where he met with regional leaders.
“Based on what we heard on the trip, I’m pretty confident we’ll see a few more milestones in the coming weeks,” said Amos Hochstein, the State Department’s senior energy security adviser, on ” Face the Nation” from CBS. ” on Sunday.
Hochstein, who was part of Biden’s delegation during the visit, also cited Gulf oil producers Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.
“It’s not just about Saudi Arabia,” he said. “There is additional spare capacity. There is room for increased production.
Biden, under political pressure from the highest US inflation in four decades, including high gasoline prices, said during the visit last week that he expects further inflation increases. oil supply from Saudi Arabia. Saudi officials stressed that any decision to pump more would be taken within the framework of OPEC+, which will hold its next decision-making meeting on August 3.
The national average retail gasoline price in the United States hit a record high of $5 a gallon for the first time in June before retreating on fears of a slowing U.S. economy. It was $4.53 a gallon on Sunday, according to the AAA auto club.
Pump prices are expected to fall further, White House economic adviser Jared Bernstein said on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday.
“I think it’s very likely that gasoline prices will continue to decline, say, for the rest of the month,” Bernstein said. “I say this because not only the price of oil has fallen by 20%, but also wholesale prices.
Crude closed below $100 a barrel on Friday for the first time since early April amid growing recession concerns.
“We’ve seen Saudi Arabia say they will increase capacity for all production, and I refer you to them for more information there,” he said.
For Americans facing rising prices that have been particularly acute in food and energy, the cost of gas has come down but remains too high, Bernstein said.
“We are talking about a drop that is totally insufficient when it comes to really relieving family budgets that they need,” he said.
Inflation became a political issue for Democrats and the Biden administration with the midterm elections in November. As Russia’s war on Ukraine has rattled energy markets, Biden has also criticized soaring profits at oil and gas companies, accusing them of inflating prices and profiteering.
“These are businesses, that we’ve helped them, to the tune of billions of dollars, during the pandemic downturn,” Bernstein said. “They should be sharing some of the profitability with the American people right now.”
US President Joe Biden, third from left, takes part in a working session with the Saudi Crown Prince (not pictured) at Al-Salam Royal Palace in the Saudi coastal city of Jeddah on Friday.