Biden To Push For More Greater Oil Output on Mideast Trip

( President Joe Biden arrived in Saudi Arabia on Friday where he is expected to discuss energy supply, human rights, and security cooperation. The president’s visit is designed to “reset” relations between the US and the country Biden once vowed to make a “pariah” on the world stage over the death of Qatari asset, Jamal Khashoggi.

According to the White House, the president is expected to hold a bilateral meeting with King Salman bin Abdulaziz at the royal palace in Jeddah. The president and his team will then hold a working session with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and other Saudi ministers.

A US official speaking to Reuters on Friday said Washington isn’t expecting the Saudis to immediately begin boosting oil production and the US would wait and see what OPEC decides when it meets on August 3.

During his press conference in Israel on Thursday, the president said his position on the murder of Khashoggi remains “absolutely” clear. Biden said he planned to raise human rights concerns during his visit to the kingdom, but didn’t say if he would specifically address the death of Khashoggi.

The Biden administration eagerly wants to see Saudi Arabia and its OPEC partners increase oil production to help lower the cost of gasoline and ease the country’s 9.1 percent inflation rate.

S&P Global vice chairman Daniel Yergin, an expert in world energy markets, told Reuters that Saudi Arabia is definitely intending to increase capacity and the high price of oil gives them the “wherewithal to do that.”

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told reporters on Monday that the president plans to make the case for increased oil production from OPEC countries to lower the price of gas during his visit to Saudi Arabia.

Despite suggestions from the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia that they can barely increase oil production, Sullivan said OPEC can take “further steps” to boost production. He said Biden and his team will “convey our general view” that there has to be “adequate supply in the global market” to protect both the global economy and lower what Americans are paying at the pump.