The senior Energy official in the Biden administration criticised the Opec oil “cartel” for rising gasoline prices in the United States on Sunday, placing more pressure on the club to increase crude supply ahead of a summit later this week. Petrol costs in the United States have jumped over 40% since Joe Biden took office, adding to inflation fears. Winter heating expenditures are expected to rise this year, according to the federal Energy Information Administration.
The US president told reporters after the G20 meeting in Rome on Sunday: “I do think that the idea that Russia and Saudi Arabia and other major producers are not gonna pump more oil so people can have gasoline to get to and from work for example is . . . not right.” Biden would bring up the “short-term mismatch in supply and demand in global Energy markets” in talks at the G20, which includes Opec’s mainstay Saudi Arabia, according to a senior administration official.
International and US oil prices have more than doubled in the last year, reaching seven-year highs of more than $80 a barrel, as the coronavirus pandemic eased the world economy, which burned more oil again. Deep supply cuts by Opec producers and partners like Russia have also aided in pushing up oil prices, which briefly fell below zero during last year’s price collapse. Last year, under the insistence of former US President Donald Trump, who attempted to recover oil prices in order to protect the country’s oil industry, those massive supply cuts were agreed upon.