ISLAMABAD: Global crude prices went down on Thursday after making a rebound in early trading after the US asked the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to increase crude oil output to reign in petrol prices and curb shortages, deeming the group’s current production boost plan insufficient.
At 1210 hours GMT, Brent, the international benchmark for two-thirds of the world’s oil, shed $0.25 (-0.35 percent) to reach $71.19 a barrel. Similarly, the US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) reached $68.91, down by $0.34 (-0.49 percent).
The price for Opec Basket was recorded at $70.13 a barrel with 0.75 percent decrease, Arab Light was available at $72.40 a barrel with 0.54 percent increase, while the price of Russian Sokol jumped to $71.56 after gaining 0.55 percent.
The US is looking to ask the OPEC to increase crude oil output to reign in petrol prices and curb shortages. “We are engaging with relevant OPEC+ members on the importance of competitive markets in setting prices… Competitive energy markets will ensure reliable and stable energy supplies, and OPEC+ must do more to support the recovery,” CNBC reported on Wednesday, citing US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan.
According to the report, Washington views the OPEC and allied producers’ July decision to gradually increase oil output by 400,000 barrels a day as “simply not enough” during a “critical moment in the global recovery” from the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to media reports, the US officials this week discussed the potential production hike with representatives from Saudi Arabia, one of OPEC’s major producers, as well as with representatives from the United Arab Emirates and other OPEC+ members.
The OPEC+ has already started to ease production cuts and – effectively – to pump more, but is still withholding some 6 million barrels per day, which it plans to return to the market step-by-step on a monthly basis from August 2021 till December 2022.