US Still Vulnerable to Oil Blackmail – as Russia, OPEC, Deliver Oil Shock

April 4, 2023

Drill, Baby, Drill all you want. The US is the number one oil producer in the world – it’s not even close, but we are still hostage to Russian autocrats, Arab Oligarchs, and Texas tycoons who can raise prices on a whim – which just happened.
When do we get it that we have a choice?


The United States is by far the world’s biggest producer of oil, having produced around 16.6 million barrels of oil on average per day in 2021. Saudi Arabia and Russia follow head to head in second and third place, having produced around 11 and 10.9 million barrels of oil per day, respectively.

New York Times:

Oil prices surged on Monday and U.S. officials voiced their displeasure a day after OPEC members announced substantial cuts in production, a move that reaffirmed Saudi Arabia, the group’s leader, as a headstrong giant in the oil market.

Traders bid up crude prices after the news of cuts totaling more than 1.1 million barrels a day, or 1 percent of global production, beginning next month. Brent crude, the international benchmark, rose more than 6 percent, to nearly $84.93 a barrel. West Texas Intermediate crude, the U.S. standard, was up by a similar amount, trading over $80 a barrel.

Sunday’s surprise announcement signaled a potential new threat to global efforts to curb inflation and a challenge to the Biden administration, which has pushed for lower gasoline prices.

“We don’t think that the production cuts are advisable at this moment, given the market uncertainty. And we made that clear,” said John F. Kirby, a spokesman for the National Security Council. “But we also don’t have a seat at that table.”


With the US driving season around the corner, the cartel’s cut could add more than 50 cents a gallon to the national average of pump prices. Last year faced with skyrocketing prices after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, President Joe Biden ordered an unprecedentedly large release from the nation’s strategic crude reserves.

Costlier crude threatens to add to inflation, complicating central banks’ efforts to tame persistent price pressures. The US Federal Reserve raised interest rates again last month, and officials are next scheduled to meet in May to set monetary policy.


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