France calls for more oil production

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France called on Monday for oil-producing countries to increase their production “in an exceptional manner” and pleaded for a “diversification of supplies” to Iran and Venezuela in order to curb the surge in prices at the pump caused by the war in Ukraine.

Producing more oil to fight the energy crisis

“We need the producing countries to produce more in an exceptional way”, the time to pass the course of the crisis, “the objective of carbon neutrality remains clearly reaffirmed”, said the French presidency on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Elmau in Germany.

U.S. President Joe Biden is scheduled to discuss this during his visit to Saudi Arabia in July. His French counterpart Emmanuel Macron is also “in contact” with the Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salmane, as well as with the new president of the United Arab Emirates, Mohammed bin Zayed, noted the Elysee.

In an exchange captured by cameras in Elmau, the French president reported to Mr. Biden the content of a call with his counterpart from the Emirates concerning the capacities of oil producing countries.

“He told me two things: the first +I am at the maximum, maximum+ (…)” regarding the number of barrels put on the market by the Emirates, according to Macron. “And then he said that (the) Saudis could increase by 150 (thousand barrels per day). Maybe a little bit more, but they don’t have huge capacity for six months,” Macron added.

At their last meeting in early June, the thirteen members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec), led by Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest exporter of “black gold”, agreed to open the floodgates a little more. But the West would like them to boost their production further to stabilize the market.

Explore other avenues

The French presidency also believes that “there are resources elsewhere that must also be explored”, looking at the capacities of Iran and Venezuela. However, both countries are under US sanctions.

“The negotiation on the Iranian nuclear issue is now closed as far as the nuclear issue is concerned, but it is not closed as far as the relationship between Iran and the United States is concerned on a specific issue, the US sanctions related to terrorism,” she said.

The Elysée believes that there is “a knot to untie” in order to put Iranian oil back on the market. The same goes for Venezuelan oil.

France is also in favor of the U.S. proposal to cap oil prices (“price cap”) but believes it should be extended to gas and all market players.

“The principle of a price cap is acceptable, it can be supported, but its method of use is rather uncertain. It must be as broad as possible,” said the French Presidency, calling for “in-depth discussions.

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