OPEC and allied oil-producing countries rebuffed pressure from U.S. President Joe Biden to pump significantly more oil and lower gasoline prices for U.S. drivers, deciding Thursday to stick with their plan for cautious monthly increases even as prices surge and the global economy is thirsty for fuel.
Extremely high natural gas prices – part of a global fossil fuel crunch – have helped push up oil prices as power generators in Asia switch from gas to oil.
Oil prices fell ahead of the OPEC meeting on speculation that the U.S., possibly in coordination with other countries, could try to quell the recent price rally by releasing crude from strategic reserves, according to Louise Dixon, senior oil markets analyst at Rystad Energy.
“And if the recent steady increase in crude oil prices takes a breather too, consumers may benefit at the pump with smaller price hikes,” spokesman Andrew Gross said in a statement.
AAA predicted that elevated crude prices will likely keep pushing up gas prices as long as oil prices are above $80 per barrel.