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US official requests greater oil production

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Speaking in Houston, Texas on the sidelines of an energy conference, the US Undersecretary of State for Economic Affairs, Energy and the Environment, Jose Fernandez, expressed that the United States wants to see increased oil production around the world, including from those currently participating in the OPEC+ deal.

According to the AFP news agency, Fernandez said:

“As world economies recover, we’ll see more consumption. And therefore we’d like to see supply meet demand.”

He then added that this should include the OPEC+ group, which comprises the 13 OPEC member countries, together with the 11 non-member states, most notably Russia, that have agreed to participate in production quotas. Towards the end of last year, the organisation cut its total production ceiling by 2 million barrels per day (bpd) and left it unchanged since then.

While US producers like Chevron, the maker of the Texaco Meropa gear oil, have announced plans to increase their US-based shale oil production, a broad increase in production around the world will likely be needed to meet the inevitable increase in demand as economies recover and China shifts away from the zero-COVID approach that has been damaging its economy.

While the price of benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil has dropped by about a third from the highs seen after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, it is still 30% higher than it was at the same point in 2018, and 40% higher than it was in 2019. In an effort to lower prices at the pumps, the US released almost 250 million barrels from its Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

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