Senior energy ministry officials from Russia and the United States discussed the stabilization of oil markets on the sidelines of the COP26 conference in Glasgow.
According to a statement issued by the Russian Energy Ministry, deputy minister Pavel Sorokin and his U.S. counterpart David Turk talked about bilateral cooperation regarding international energy markets and multilateral action within the G20 group to stabilize global oil markets.
As news agency TASS noted in a report, face-to-face meetings between Russian and U.S. government officials are a rarity because of tense bilateral relations resulting from U.S. sanctions. In energy, such meetings are even rarer as much of the sanctions are targeting Russia’s oil and gas industry.
In this context, the meeting between Sorokin and Turk suggests that the Biden administration is actively looking for ways to boost oil supply after direct pleas and demands to OPEC+ failed to yield anything productive.
Russia produces over 10.8 million bpd of crude oil as of October. This makes it the second-largest producer after the United States, which, according to the latest EIA weekly petroleum status report, pumped 11.5 million bpd in the first week of November.
Russia is also a major exporter to the United States: in August, it became the second-largest oil exporter to the country, after Canada. According to a Bloomberg report at the time, the increase came on the back of stronger fuel demand, which prompted refiners to look for gasoline-rich feedstocks, of which Russia produces ample quantities.
The meeting could also be seen as the next logical step after U.S. officials discussed oil markets with Saudi Arabia, probably to convince the decision-makers in Riyadh to boost production.
The Biden administration has signaled repeatedly that it was trying to find a way to push prices lower without going into much detail about the tools it was considering using, only mentioning that they are using all that is available.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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