WASHINGTON, July 18 (Reuters) – The White House on said Monday it anticipates major oil producers in the OPEC+ alliance to increase crude production following President Joe Biden’s trip to the Middle East.
“We will measure success in the next couple of weeks,” said White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre at a press briefing. “We anticipate [it] to be an increase in production, but it’s going to take the next couple of weeks, and that will be up to OPEC+.”
Biden traveled to Saudi Arabia last week where he met with that country’s leadership and other members of the Gulf Cooperation Council in the oil-rich Middle East.
The Biden administration has come under pressure to cut gas prices and other consumer costs ahead of the Nov. 8 mid-term elections where his Democratic Party is seeking to retain control of Congress.
Oil prices rocketed to their highest levels since 2008, climbing above USD 139 a barrel in March, after the United States and Europe imposed sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow calls a “special military operation.” Prices have slipped since then.
OPEC+, which includes both Saudi Arabia and Russia, meets next on Aug. 3.
(Reporting by Jeff Mason and Trevor Hunnicutt; Editing by Leslie Adler and Sam Holmes)