Oil Turns Positive, Clawing Back Losses After White House Calls on OPEC to Boost Production

Ramzi Boudina | Reuters

Oil prices reversed losses to trade in the green on Wednesday, after the White House called on OPEC and its allies to increase oil production to support the global recovery from the pandemic.

Futures for West Texas Intermediate crude settled 1.36% higher at $69.25 per barrel. Earlier in the session the contract dipped more than 2% and traded as low as $66.67 per barrel. International benchmark Brent crude advanced 1.15% to $71.44 per barrel.

Oil prices moved lower Wednesday morning after CNBC reported that the White House said that OPEC+ needs to increase production.

"Competitive energy markets will ensure reliable and stable energy supplies, and OPEC+ must do more to support the recovery," National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said in a statement obtained by CNBC.

The group agreed in July to increase production by 400,000 barrels per day, but that would leave output well below pre-pandemic levels. OPEC+ cut production by 10 million barrels per day in the middle of 2020. U.S. producers also scaled back production as demand dropped sharply.

The White House said July's deal is "simply not enough."

In recent months, consumer gas prices have climbed in the U.S. as the economy has reopened. The Biden administration is also asking the Federal Trade Commission to monitor the domestic market for potential illegal activity that could be adding to the rising prices.

The national average for a gallon of gas stood at $3.186 on Tuesday, according to AAA, up by just over $1 in the last year.

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