No announcements on increasing oil production by the Saudis are expected to emerge from President Biden’s trip to Saudi Arabia this week, says national security adviser Jake Sullivan.
Mr. Biden “will certainly” be discussing energy security when he meets with the leaders of nine countries in Saudi Arabia Friday and Saturday for the Gulf Cooperation Council plus Egypt, Iraq and Jordan, known as the GCC+3, Sullivan told reporters on Air Force One Friday. But any decisions to further boost oil production will come from OPEC+, which Saudi Arabia co-chairs. OPEC member countries produce roughly 40% of the globe’s crude oil, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
“We will discuss energy security at this meeting,” Sullivan said on Air Force One Friday. “The president discusses it in Europe, when he’s in Asia, and he certainly will be discussing it here in the Middle East and here in Saudi Arabia. Just to take a step back before we announced the trip, you saw an announcement from OPEC+ on accelerating and increasing production. We will discuss the issue here and we are hopeful that we will see additional actions by OPEC+ in the coming weeks.”
OPEC announced after its meetings in June that it would increase its crude oil production by 648,000 barrels per day. The COVID-19 pandemic and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine have increased volatility in the oil markets, and for the past two years, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, global oil consumption has exceeded the pace of production.
Progress on energy, Sullivan said, will be measured “over the course of weeks.”
“That has been our plan going in, that is our plan on this plane, that will be our plan coming out,” he said. “So, I don’t think you should expect a particular announcement here bilaterally because we believe any further action taken to ensure that there is sufficient energy to protect the health of the global economy will be done in the context of OPEC+.”
A U.S. official also confirmed to CBS News that the president is anticipated to end his visit to Saudi Arabia without a public announcement on Saudi plans to boost oil production. OPEC+ meets next in early August and could boost production at that time.
Saudi Arabia is the third stop for Mr. Biden, who visited Israel and the West Bank this week. It’s his first trip to the Middle East as president, although he previously visited as a senator and vice president.
U.S. gas prices have fallen from their peak last month, but they remain high and are still hurting consumers in the U.S. and around the globe.
CBS News’ Margaret Brennan contributed to this report.