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The U.S. government has quietly asked Saudi Arabia and some other producers in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to increase oil production by about 1 million barrels a day, reports Bloomberg.
The rare request came after U.S. retail gasoline prices surged to their highest in more than three years and President Donald Trump publicly complained about OPEC policy and rising oil prices on Twitter. It also follows his administration’s decision to re-impose sanctions on Iran’s crude exports that had previously displaced about 1 million barrels a day, or just over 1% of global production.
While U.S. lawmakers have habitually criticized OPEC at times of high oil prices, and the government has on occasion encouraged the cartel to pump more, it’s unusual for Washington to ask for a specific output hike.
It’s not clear precisely how the request was communicated. The White House declined to comment on specific conversations, but a U.S. National Security Council spokespersonsaid access to affordable and reliable energy underpins global economic growth and the nation’s security. (Source: Bloomberg)
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