You USA said on a phone call with Saudi Arabia that energy prices must be kept at levels accessible to consumers, with President Joe Biden’s administration resuming the practice of Donald Trump to call the leader of the Opep for complaints about prices.
US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said on Twitter that she spoke to Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz Bin Salman.
“We reaffirm the importance of international cooperation to ensure affordable prices and reliable sources of energy for consumers,” she wrote, potentially giving an additional reason for the group to consider an increase in supply.
Prices of Brent oil, an international reference, operated above $ 63 on Thursday, up more than 20% since the beginning of 2021 and close to the highs of the year.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, known as OPEC +, cut production by almost 7 million barrels per day to support prices. In addition, the Saudis have voluntarily reduced their offer by 1 million bpd.
OPEC + will meet this Thursday, with talks scheduled to begin at 10 am (Brasília time). “There is still no clear picture (about the decision),” said a source.
On the eve of the meeting, representatives of OPEC + said that the group is likely to keep most of its supply restrictions in place, given the weak prospects for demand amid new “lockdowns” against the coronavirus.
But the mood has changed in the past 24 hours, as the group now between an extension of cuts and an increase in supply, according to three sources from OPEC +. The increase could be 0.5 million bpd, said two of those sources.
It is not yet clear whether the US secretary’s call influenced the change.
Trump has repeatedly used his influence to force Saudi Arabia to help its oil production policy. When prices rose, he insisted that OPEC increase the supply.
When prices collapsed last year due to the pandemic, Trump called Saudi Arabia and Russia and pushed for a deal for record production cuts that helped protect the U.S. shale industry.
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