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Macron Caught Breaking Some Bad News To Biden On G7 Sidelines

Ludovic Marin via Reuters

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Max Keating Contributor
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French President Emmanuel Macron was overheard at the G7 summit in Germany Monday afternoon telling President Joe Biden that neither the United Arab Emirates nor Saudi Arabia have much room to increase oil production capacity, according to Reuters.

Macron’s comment comes as a major focus of the ongoing summit is to find ways to ease the energy strain on Europe resulting from the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Both men would like to find ways to replace the roughly two million barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil and additional two million bpd of refined products that Europe had been importing from Russia that is now subject to sanctions, Reuters reported.

Biden has been trying to get the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to increase oil supply for months, and plans to visit Saudi Arabia in July at least in part to force the issue. But, according to energy trader and market analyst Rebecca Babin, “Saudi Arabia and the UAE are bumping up against their spare capacity constraints. And they’re not necessarily able to bring back enough crude over a long enough of a time period to really solve this problem.”

Macron reportedly informed Biden that he spoke with the president of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, who told him that the Emiratis are unable to increase production at all in the short term while the Saudis could probably raise output by 150,000 bpd, not enough to make a substantial dent in the two million bpd deficit that Europe is facing, according to Reuters. 

Emirati Minister of Energy and Infrastructure H.E. Suhail Al Mazrouei confirmed the comments in a tweet, acknowledging that the “UAE is producing near to our maximum production capacity.” The Ministry did not immediately respond to requests for comment. 

In the wake of the news oil prices jumped by roughly 2% on the day to a session high of $115.19 a barrel. 

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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