Oil turns positive, clawing back losses after White House calls on OPEC to boost production


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The OPEC logo pictured ahead of an informal meeting between members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in Algiers, Algeria.
Ramzi Boudina | Reuters

Oil prices fell on Wednesday after the White House called on OPEC and its allies to increase oil production to support the global recovery from the pandemic.

Futures contracts for West Texas Intermediate crude fell by more than 1% to about $67.51 per barrel. European benchmark Brent crude also slipped by more than 1% to about $69.90 per barrel. Both contracts have traded above $70 per barrel in recent weeks.

Oil prices moved lower on Wednesday after CNBC reported that the White House said that OPEC+ needs to increase production.

“Competitive energy markets will ensure reliable and stable energy supplies, and OPEC+ must do more to support the recovery,” National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said in a statement obtained by CNBC.

The group agreed in July to increase production by 400,000 barrels per day, but that would leave output well below pre-pandemic levels. OPEC+ cut production by 10 million barrels per day in the middle of 2020. U.S. producers also scaled back production as demand dropped sharply.

The White House said July’s deal is “simply not enough.”

In recent months, consumer gas prices have climbed in the U.S. as the economy has reopened. The Biden administration is also asking the Federal Trade Commission to monitor the domestic market for potential illegal activity that could be adding to the rising prices.

The national average for a gallon of gas stood at $3.186 on Tuesday, according to AAA, up by just over $1 in the last year.

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