| 21 February 2024, Wednesday |

Germany calls on OPEC to increase oil output

Following a jump in prices and supply fears due to the Ukraine situation, German Economy Minister Robert Habeck launched a “urgent appeal” to OPEC oil producers to increase output.

Habeck urged the world’s leading oil producers to “raise production in order to create market relief.”

He added at a Berlin press conference that “that would be a contribution” to reducing the hardship on businesses and consumers, and that it was a “urgent appeal” to OPEC.

The request came as Brent crude, the worldwide benchmark, jumped more than 5% ahead of President Joe Biden’s expected declaration of a US ban on Russian oil imports in response to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

At 1430 GMT, the price of a barrel had reached $129.92.

The 13 members of the Saudi-led OPEC group and their ten allies, including Russia, decided at last week’s OPEC+ meeting to continue to their existing output targets until April.

Europe is significantly reliant on Russian energy imports, and Western sanctions on Russia have so far included oil and gas from their list of targets.

Russian energy supplies, according to German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, are “essential” for people’s daily lives in Europe’s largest economy.

On Tuesday, US President Barack Obama is expected to impose an energy embargo, according to US media reports. Biden is expected to announce a ban on Russian oil and liquefied natural gas imports.

  • AFP