Biden ordered a US ban on Russian oil imports after the war, and cautioned that Americans will feel pain, too — at the gas pump. Yet, he declared, “Defending freedom is going to cost.”
The COVID-19 pandemic pushed demand for oil down, with Brent Crude prices averaging around $42 a barrel in 2020 before climbing to $70 last year on the back of a deal by major oil producers to drastically curb production.
The deal, led by Saudi Arabia and Russia, calls for gradually increasing production levels each month as economies recover, but it did not account for the impact of the war in Ukraine, launched by Russia three weeks ago.
The UAE’s energy minister as recently as last week said the country is “committed to the OPEC+ agreement and its existing monthly production adjustment mechanism.”
The Biden administration dispatched two officials last month to Riyadh to talk about a range of issues — chief among them global energy supplies.
In a call with Biden prior to the visit, King Salman doubled down on “the importance of maintaining the agreement” that is in place between OPEC producers and Russia, according to a Saudi readout of the call.
“The reason for coming here is that it’s not just that they’ve got oil. They’re also some of the biggest investors here, in the Gulf, in UK renewables,” Johnson said in Abu Dhabi.