Biden Pushes G-20 Energy Producing Countries to Boost Production

By Reuters
October 31, 2021Politics
Biden Pushes G-20 Energy Producing Countries to Boost Production
U.S. President Joe Biden poses with other world leaders for a group photo at the La Nuvola conference center for the G-20 summit in Rome, Italy, on Oct. 30, 2021. (Kirsty Wigglesworth/Pool/Getty Images)

ROME—U.S. President Joe Biden on Saturday urged major Group of 20 (G-20) energy producing countries with spare capacity to boost production to ensure a stronger global economic recovery as part of a broad effort to pressure OPEC and its partners to increase oil supply.

With oil and gas prices surging, some energy-producing countries such as Russia and Saudi Arabia have not boosted output enough to satisfy countries that are largely energy consumers and worry about energy shortages and inflation.

French President Emmanuel Macron echoed those concerns in an interview with the Financial Times, urging the summit to push for better “visibility and stability on prices” to avoid undermining the post-pandemic global economic recovery.

Rocketing natural gas prices, with the European benchmark up almost 600 percent this year, have been fuelled by low inventories and surging demand.

Russia, a major natural gas supplier to Europe, and its energy giant Gazprom are being urged to do more to ease prices in the spot market.

Russian President Vladimir Putin did not come to Rome for the summit.

Comments from Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak earlier this month sparked fresh tensions over the Nord Stream 2 undersea gas pipeline from Russia to Germany, which Washington has long opposed and which is now awaiting clearance from a German regulator.

Novak said clearing the pipeline could help ease shortfalls, sparking concerns that Russia has failed to boost its production of gas—currently delivered via land-based pipelines—precisely to put pressure on Europe to approve Nord Stream 2.

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