Biden to push G20 energy-producing countries to increase production

US President Joe Biden delivers remarks on his Build Back Better agenda and the bipartisan infrastructure deal during a speech in the East Room of the White House in Washington, United States, October 28, 2021. REUTERS / Jonathan Ernst / File Photo

ROME, October 30 (Reuters) – US President Joe Biden will urge key G20 energy-producing countries with spare capacity on Saturday to increase production to ensure a stronger global economic recovery, a senior administration official said before a summit.

Biden and other leaders of the Group of 20 richest countries, meeting in Rome, are expected to discuss efforts to end the COVID-19 pandemic and are also expected to approve a deal on establishing a new global minimum tax on corporations.

But members are divided on other issues. With soaring oil and gas prices, some energy-producing countries such as Russia and Saudi Arabia have not increased production enough to satisfy countries that are heavy consumers of energy and worry about energy costs. energy shortages and inflation.

French President Emmanuel Macron echoed these concerns in an interview with the Financial Times, urging the summit to push for better “visibility and price stability” to avoid undermining the post-COVID-19 global economic recovery.

Biden’s top advisers have raised concerns that energy providers are not ramping up production enough to meet growing demand. The surge in natural gas prices, with the European benchmark up nearly 600% this year, has been fueled by low inventories and increased demand as economies recover.

Biden’s national security adviser Jake Sullivan raised similar questions during a visit to Brussels this month, citing Russia for its “history of using energy as a tool of coercion, as a weapon Politics”.

Russia, a major supplier of natural gas to Europe, and its energy giant Gazprom are urged to do more to ease prices in the spot market.

“This is a delicate time in the global economy, and what is important is that global energy supplies keep pace with global energy demand,” the senior administration official said.

“There are large energy producers who have slack capacity, and we encourage them to use it to ensure a stronger and more sustainable recovery around the world,” the official said, without naming a specific country.

The official said G20 leaders would not specifically target the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which includes Saudi Arabia, or set targets for energy production.

Russian President Vladimir Putin will not attend the summit in person, but is expected to participate virtually.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak’s comments earlier this month sparked new tensions over the Nord Stream 2 submarine pipeline, which Washington has long opposed and now awaits clearance from a German regulator.

Novak said cleaning the pipeline could help alleviate shortages, raising concerns that Russia has failed to increase its production of gas – currently delivered via onshore pipelines – precisely to put pressure on it. Europe to approve Nord Stream 2.

During their talks on the economy, G20 leaders will also support an agreement reached by more than 130 countries on a minimum global corporate tax of 15% that could result in some $ 60 billion in additional tax revenue per year for the United States alone, the United States said the official.

Reporting by Andrea Shalal and Jeff Mason Editing by David Gregorio and Frances Kerry

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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