NewsWorldSaudi, OPEC may make up for Russian oil output loss as Biden...

Saudi, OPEC may make up for Russian oil output loss as Biden visit looms

Saudi Arabia and other OPEC members may boost oil output to offset a drop in Russian production, a move that could take some pressure off surging global inflation and pave the way for an ice-breaking visit to Riyadh by U.S. President Joe Biden.

Two OPEC+ sources said the group was working on making up for a drop in Russian oil output as Russia’s production has fallen by about 1 million barrels per day (bpd) as a result of Western sanctions on Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine.

One OPEC+ source familiar with the Russian position said Moscow could agree to other producers raising production to compensate for Russia’s lower output but not necessarily making up all the shortfall.

The source said that decision might not be taken at Thursday’s (June 2) meeting of OPEC+, an alliance of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Russia and others.

U.S. diplomats have been working for weeks on organising Biden’s first visit to Riyadh after two years of strained relations because of disagreements over human rights, the war in Yemen and U.S. weapons supplies to the kingdom.

Faced with low approval ratings before U.S. mid-term elections amid surging gasoline prices, Biden has pressed Saudi Arabia to pump more oil. Sources on both sides say MbS has refused to act until Biden is ready to deal directly with him.

OPEC+ ministers hold online talks on Thursday when they had been widely expected to stick to an existing plan for a regular monthly increase of 432,000 bpd, mirroring previous meetings when they have spurned calls for bigger output hikes.

(Reuters)

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