President Biden on Thursday told reporters that the decision by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC+) to slash oil production has left the administration looking for “alternatives.”
“There’s a lot of alternatives,” he told reporters in response to whether the US would consider turning to the oil-rich nation of Venezuela. “We haven’t made up our minds yet.”
The president’s comments come one day after OPEC+ announced it would be slashing oil production by 2 million barrels a day.
OPEC+ MINISTERS AGREE TO CUT PRODUCTION BY 2M BARRELS PER DAY
The move will provide an economic boost to oil producing nations like Saudi Arabia, Russia and the UAE.
But it also means gas prices will likely spike as stock levels diminish.
Reports Wednesday night suggested the Biden administration was looking to loosen sanctions on Venezuela in order to allow US oil companies to resume pumping there.
But the White House struck down these claims Thursday and said, “There are no plans to change our sanctions policy without constructive steps from the Maduro regime.”
“Our sanctions policy on Venezuela remains unchanged. We will continue to implement and enforce our Venezuela sanctions,” a National Security Council spokesman told Fox News.
OIL, GAS PRICES ELEVATED AHEAD OF KEY OPEC+ MEETING
“As we have previously made clear, we will review our sanctions policies in response to constructive steps by the Maduro regime to restore democracy in Venezuela and alleviate the suffering of the Venezuelan people,” the spokesman added.
The president was tight-lipped on who the US would turn to help stave off sky rocketing prices at the pump but noted there are other implications to the OPEC+ decision.
“It is a disappointment,” Biden said following questions over what the decision by the Saudi-led oil cartel means for Washington’s relationship with Riyadh.
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“It says there are problems,” he added.
The Biden administration reportedly took steps to encourage the Saudi government not cut oil production as inflation remains high globally ahead of the Wednesday decision.