White House tamps down expectations on gas prices ahead of Saudi meeting
The White House on Friday tamped down expectations that President Biden’s meetings with Saudi leaders will lead to an announcement about a bump in oil production that could lower prices.
Speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One, White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said that the administration expects any concrete decision on increasing production to be made by OPEC and OPEC+, of which Saudi Arabia is the de facto leader, in the coming weeks.
“We will discuss the issue here and we are hopeful that we will see additional actions by OPEC+ in the coming weeks,” Sullivan told reporters.
“I don’t think you should expect a particular announcement here bilaterally, because we believe any further action taken to ensure that there is sufficient energy to protect the health of the global economy will be done in the context of OPEC+,” he added.
The group of oil-producing nations agreed in early June to increase oil production as the global energy market felt disruptions from Russia’s war in Ukraine.
High gas prices in the U.S., which have started to decline, were widely viewed as a strong motivation for Biden’s decision to travel to Saudi Arabia. The White House has also sold the trip as part of an effort to reassert U.S. leadership in the Middle East.
Leading up to the trip, experts said that the Saudis were unlikely to immediately commit to an increase in oil production, though they noted the countries could agree to greater cooperation on energy security.
Biden will meet with Saudi officials, including Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, later Friday and attend a meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council on Saturday in Saudi Arabia.