Output hikes by major oil producers 'not enough': W.House

New York (AFP) –


A boost in production agreed on by the world's leading oil producers is "simply not enough" to fuel the global economic recovery from Covid-19, US national security advisor Jake Sullivan said Wednesday.

The increases agreed on by OPEC+ (the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies) last month "will not fully offset previous production cuts that OPEC+ imposed during the pandemic until well into 2022," he said in a statement released by the White House.

"At a critical moment in the global recovery, this is simply not enough," the statement said.

"Competitive energy markets will ensure reliable and stable energy supplies, and OPEC+ must do more to support the recovery."

The price of gasoline is currently $3.19 per gallon, up from $3.14 a month ago and more than a 45 percent jump from the year-ago level when travel was constrained in the United States by myriad Covid-19 restrictions.

Sullivan's statement comes three weeks after the OPEC+ group unveiled an agreement to boost output by 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) each month from August.

The deal means the group's output will be restored to its pre-pandemic level by the end of 2022.

Oil producers have faced a complex challenge to modulate output amid Covid-19, with the most recent uptick in infections from the Delta variant raising doubts about demand, especially in China.

Crude prices, which briefly hit six-year peaks in June, have fluctuated in recent days amid these worries.

The Biden administration also released a letter from National Economic Council Chief Brian Deese to the Federal Trade Commission calling on the agency to use "all of its available tools to monitor the US gasoline market" and guard against "anti-competitive" conduct.