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Washington calls on oil producers, including OPEC, to increase production

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Washington called on oil producers, including the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), to increase the quantities of crude supplied in the markets, and Jose Fernandez, US Assistant Secretary of State for Economic Affairs and Energy, said that “with the recovery of world economies” from the Covid-19 pandemic, “(oil) consumption will increase, So we would like to see supply meet demand.” In early October, OPEC Plus decided to cut its production by two million barrels per day, at a level it has not changed since then.

A senior US official, in an interview with Agence France-Presse on Monday, called on oil producers, including the organization oil exporting countries (OPEC), to increase the quantities of crude supplied in the market.

On the sidelines of the “Ceraweek” energy conference in Houston, Jose Fernandez, US Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Energy Affairs, said that “as the world’s economies recover” from the Covid-19 pandemic, “(oil) consumption will increase, so we would like to see supply meet demand.”

He added, “We want more production” of oil in the world, including by OPEC+, the alliance made up of OPEC and its 10 oil partners.

In early October, OPEC+ decided to cut its production by two million barrels per day, at a level it has not changed since then.

In 2020, during the Covid-19 pandemic, oil demand collapsed to 90.98 million barrels per day, before rising to 97.01 million barrels per day in 2021, and then to 99.55 million barrels per day in 2022.

The price of a barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude, the US reference oil, is lower today by about a third than it was a year ago, that is, in the early days of the Russian attack on Ukraine, but it is more than 40% higher than it was in the same period in 2019, and by nearly 30%. % compared to the same period in 2018.

Between early September 2021 and early January 2023, President Joe Biden’s administration withdrew approximately 250 million barrels from the US Strategic Reserve and offered them for sale in the market, to limit the rise in black gold prices.

Last year, the US President kept asking OPEC Plus to increase its oil production, but his request did not fall on deaf ears from the coalition.

OPEC expects oil demand to grow this year by 2.32 million barrels per day compared to last year.

France 24/AFP

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