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US consults Saudi Arabia, UAE on OPEC+ stalemate, watches US price impact: Psaki

Highlights

White House 'constantly monitoring' US gasoline prices

President Biden not directly involved in oil diplomacy

The White House has had "a number of high-level conversations" with officials in Saudi Arabia and UAE aimed at allowing proposed OPEC+ production increases to move forward, Press Secretary Jen Psaki said July 6.

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The Biden administration is "constantly monitoring" gasoline prices and the impact on US consumers, she said.

President Joe Biden has not been involved in the talks so far, she added.

"We are closely monitoring the OPEC+ negotiations and their impact on the global economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic," Psaki said during a daily press briefing. "We're encouraged by the ongoing conversation by OPEC members to reaching an agreement, which will promote access to affordable and reliable energy."

A standoff between Saudi Arabia and the UAE forced OPEC and its allies to abruptly call off their July 5 meeting to consider increasing production by 400,000 b/d each month starting in August. No date has been set for a rescheduled meeting, although back-channel consultations continue.

Saudi Arabia wants to tie the series of monthly OPEC+ production increases to lengthening the group's supply management pact through the end of 2022, while the UAE insists that its output target be increased before signing off on the extension.

Ben Cahill, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said US officials were likely "pushing for a reconciliation that would add supplies and reduce the market uncertainty. I doubt they are panicking over oil prices and, instead, will see how this plays out, but prices north of $80/b would probably raise concerns," he said by email.

S&P Global Platts Analytics forecasts global oil demand could rise 8.8 million b/d from June to December.