Overseas crude oil producers have spare capacity and are likely to boost supplies, a senior White House energy expert said Sunday.
In an interview on CBS News’ “Face The Nation,” Amos Hochstein, the special presidential coordinator for international energy affairs, said he was buoyed by President Joe Biden’s Mideast trip.
“Based on what we heard, on the trip, I’m pretty confident that we’ll see a few more steps in the coming weeks,” he said.
“It’s not just about Saudi,” he added. “We met with the GCC, and with Saudi Arabia. I’m not going to go into how much spare capacity there is in Saudi Arabia and in (the United Arab Emirates) and Kuwait. But there is additional spare capacity, there is room for increased production.”
“As we’ve told producers in the United States, we’ve had conversations over the last several months and weeks, with OPEC,” he continued. “And I believe that there is still more room to-to see additional steps.”
GCC stands for Gulf Cooperation Council and includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
Hochstein said he also expects to see U.S. gasoline prices to fall further toward $4 a gallon.
“It’s not $5 anymore, it’s now $4.55,” he said. “And I expect it to come down more toward $4. And we already have many gas stations around the country that are below $4. So … this is the fastest decline rate that we’ve seen against a major increase in oil prices during a war in Europe, where one of the parties in the war is the third-largest producer in the world.”
The average national retail price of gasoline soared to a record $5 per gallon for the first time in June before slipping down over worries about the economy falling into recession.
It was $4.53 per gallon on Sunday, according to the AAA auto club, Bloomberg reported.
Meanwhile, prices at the pump should decline further, White House economic adviser Jared Bernstein told CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“I think it’s very likely that gas prices continue to track down, say, for the rest of the month,” Bernstein said. “I say that because not just the oil price is down 20%, but wholesale prices are down as well.”
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