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Saudi Arabia keeps lid on oil output as US gas prices rise

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES (AP) – Saudi Arabia is signalling it isn’t willing to pump more oil and won’t push for changes to an agreement with Russia and other producers that has kept a lid on oil production levels.

This has Washington concerned as gasoline prices rise and tensions with Russia over Ukraine fuel market uncertainty.

The Biden administration dispatched National Security Council’s Middle East coordinator Brett McGurk and State Department’s energy envoy Amos Hochstein to Riyadh on Wednesday to talk about a range of issues – chief among them the ongoing war in Yemen and global energy supplies.

Asked by reporters in Washington whether the United states (US) officials were also urging Saudi Arabia to pump more crude to alleviate high oil prices, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said she did not have more details on the meeting.

A White House official said the two US officials had not asked the Saudis to increase oil production at their meetings in Riyadh. The person insisted on anonymity.

On Thursday, spokesperson for the White House National Security Council Emily Horne said the officials discussed a “collaborative approach” with the Saudis to manage potential market pressures stemming from a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Two Saudi officials told The Associated Press the Saudi energy minister informed the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) of the kingdom’s commitment to the group’s current roadmap of cautious monthly increases.

The price-per-gallon sign at a gasoline station in Denver. PHOTO: AP