The White House expects that following US President Joe Biden’s trip to the Middle East, the major oil producers in the OPEC+ alliance, including Saudi Arabia, will increase crude production, noting, however, that the process that depends totally on OPEC could take a couple of weeks.
During his trip to Saudi Arabia last week, Biden met with the Kingdom’s leadership and other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members in the oil-rich Middle East, but the talks failed to yield any pledge from Saudi Arabia to boost the oil supply, leaving the oil supplies tight.
His administration has come under high pressure to cut gas prices and other consumer costs ahead of the mid-term elections scheduled for November 8, where his Democrats are seeking to retain control of the US Congress, so he wants Gulf oil producers to help lower oil prices and drive down inflation.
Propped up by a weaker dollar and tight supplies, oil prices extended gains on Monday, with Brent crude futures for September settlement rising 2.4% to $103.60 a barrel while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures for August rose 2.2 percent to $99.76.
In the previous session on Friday, Brent crude advanced by 2.1 percent while WTI rose by 1.9% after registering last week their biggest weekly decline for about a month due to fears of a recession that would hit oil demand.
OPEC+ meets next on August 3.
After the US and Europe imposed sanctions on Russia over its war on Ukraine, oil prices rocketed to above $139 a barrel in March – their highest levels since 2008 – but have slipped since then.