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Thursday, June 6, 2024

US President blames Saudis, Russia for increasing gas prices

Prices are 'inching up because of what the Russians and the Saudis just did,' says US president

US President Joe Biden singled out Saudi Arabia and Russia on Friday for rising gas prices after OPEC+ moved to dramatically cut production.

“I was able to bring gasoline down well over $1.60, but this is inching up because of what the Russians and the Saudis just did. I’m not finished with that yet,” Biden said while delivering remarks in the state of Maryland, just north of Washington, DC.

The president has signaled that he is looking for alternatives in the wake of OPEC+’s decision to cut global oil production by some 2 million barrels per day. His senior officials have said it is a sign that the oil-producing bloc is “aligning” behind Russia as the Kremlin pushes its seven-month war on Ukraine.

Global oil prices have risen over 10% this week in the wake of Wednesday’s announcement.

The Saudi-led Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) consists of 13 members.

Read more: OPEC+ oil output policy to remain unchanged from September

OPEC and 10 allies led by Russia — a group known as OPEC+ — agreed last month to raise production by 100,000 bpd in September following Western calls for more output after Russia’s war in Ukraine and a post-pandemic surge in demand sent crude prices soaring.

The cut is not supposed to go into effect until November, and Biden has sought to mitigate the decision’s effects on the US market by authorizing the release of some 10 million barrels from the US strategic reserves.

Read more: Biden disappointed with decision of OPEC+ to cut production

The Wall Street Journal reported that the Biden administration is preparing to scale down sanctions on Venezuela to allow Chevron Corp. to resume pumping oil there. The move intends to reopen US and European markets to oil exports from Venezuela, people familiar with the matter told the financial daily.

Anadolu with additional input by GVS News Desk