US president Joe Biden will visit Saudi Arabia this month. As gasoline prices in the US continue to hit record highs, the president has little choice but to deal with the Saudis to get more crude oil on the market.
The price of Brent crude oil, the international benchmark, is around $118 per barrel, its highest point since 2012. The spike comes as global economic activity has picked up following the pandemic, and the war in Ukraine has led Europe and the US to ban most imports of oil from Russia, the world’s number-three producer.
Oil production in the US itself is rising slowly and could reach a record of 13 million barrels per day by 2023, up from about 11.9 million now. While the Biden administration continues to prod domestic drillers, it also needs to look abroad. And there, Saudi Arabia is the only country with significant oil resources that could be brought into operation this year.