US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said on Saturday that volatility still weighed on oil markets, reiterating calls for additional supply.
Asked to comment on the state of oil markets, he told CNBC’s Srijigarajah that “there’s no doubt there’s a volatile environment, and … a lot of debt” — a situation the White House is monitoring.
“There is a lot of emotion in these markets and so we are deeply concerned about where things are going,” the energy secretary added.
Greenholm said she expects U.S. oil demand to grow to 12.5 million barrels a day this year, and to gain further in 2024.
Nevertheless, Granholm also called for additional production to help lower prices.
“We want to see more supply … when prices are so high it becomes dangerous,” he said. “I think the sensible approach is to make sure that transportation is affordable for people, and of course that means making sure that supply is stable.”
Some members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and their allies – known collectively as OPEC+ – are voluntarily cutting production by a combined 1.66 million barrels per day until the end of 2024. day of exports, respectively.
High crude oil prices remain a challenge for the Biden administration, and lowering prices remains a priority.
“We want prices to come down. The president is really focusing on the impact on the real people who need to work and can’t afford the premium,” Granholm highlighted.
To ease the pressure on consumer households and curb inflation, the US has historically supported low prices at the pump. Washington has repeatedly urged OPEC+ producers to support the effort by increasing their output – culminating in a brief war with Saudi Arabia in October last year.
The U.S. is now experiencing lower inflation, with the consumer price index showing a 3% year-over-year increase in June.
Granholm also discussed the importance of transitioning to renewable energy – a key topic at this year’s Energy Summit.
“China and the U.S. are the largest emitters in the world … their citizens are feeling the effects of these extreme weather events,” Granholm said, adding that the U.S. wants to “find an oasis” by cooperating with China on clean energy deployment.
“We have to do everything, everywhere, everything together. Deploy, deploy, deploy clean energy. Because if we don’t, our planet is on fire, and we must address it.”