By Biodun Busari
The United States has criticised the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies (OPEC+) for cutting oil production to 2 million barrels per day.
President Joe Biden said he was “disappointed” at the decision fuming that his administration would make effort in reducing the cartel’s control over energy prices.
Biden administration fumed at the oil production on Wednesday according to a statement by the National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and National Economic Council Director Brian Deese.
“The President is disappointed by the shortsighted decision by OPEC+ to cut production quotas while the global economy is dealing with the continued negative impact of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine,” the statement said.
Reuters reported that the US officials said the decision would mostly adversely affect lower- and middle-income countries.
OPEC+ ministers met in person for the first time in months, agreeing to cut oil output by 2 million barrels per day despite reports that the Biden administration had been lobbying Gulf states against the move.
Wednesday’s statement from the White House said the US would continue pumping oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) and that Biden has directed his energy secretary to look at ways to increase domestic production in the “immediate term.”
Meanwhile, the White House said the Biden administration would open talks with Congress “on additional tools and authorities to reduce OPEC’s control over energy prices.”
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters aboard Air Force One that the move to cut oil output was a “mistake” and accused OPEC+ of “aligning with Russia.”
But Saudi Arabia rejected criticism it was conspiring with Russia, which is included in the OPEC+ group, to drive prices higher and said the West was often driven by “wealth arrogance” when criticising the group.
Earlier in the day, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said the US needed to become less dependent on OPEC+ and foreign oil producers.