Egypt moves forward with Suez coal and diesel plant to increase oil refinery capacity

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US President Joe Biden on Saturday urged major G20 energy-producing countries with slack capacity to step up production to ensure a stronger global economic recovery as part of a broad-based effort to put pressure on OPEC and its partners to increase oil supply.


With soaring oil and gas prices, some energy-producing countries such as Russia and Saudi Arabia have not increased production enough to satisfy countries that are heavy consumers of energy and worry about energy costs. energy shortages and inflation.


French President Emmanuel Macron echoed these concerns in an interview with the Financial Times, urging the summit to push for better “price visibility and stability” to avoid undermining the post-pandemic global economic recovery.


The surge in natural gas prices, with a European benchmark up nearly 600% this year, was fueled by low stocks and strong demand.


A senior US administration official said after the G20 session that energy-consuming countries had started discussing what they could do if OPEC and its partners did not do more.


“We need to be able to talk privately with partners to think about what tools we have to deal with this in case OPEC-plus does not step up and increase production,” the official told reporters at Rome.


Russia, a major supplier of natural gas to Europe, and its energy giant Gazprom are urged to do more to ease prices in the spot market.


“This is a delicate time in the global economy, and what is important is that global energy supplies keep pace with global energy demand,” another senior official in the Biden administration said ahead of the meeting. .

“There are large energy producers who have slack capacity, and we encourage them to use it to ensure a stronger and more sustainable recovery around the world.”


The official said G20 leaders would not specifically target the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which includes Saudi Arabia, or set targets for energy production.


Russian President Vladimir Putin did not come to Rome for the summit.


Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak’s comments earlier this month sparked new tensions over the Nord Stream 2 submarine pipeline from Russia to Germany, which Washington has long opposed and now awaits clearance. of a German regulator.


Novak said cleaning the pipeline could help alleviate shortages, raising concerns that Russia has failed to increase its production of gas – currently delivered via onshore pipelines – precisely to put pressure on it. Europe to approve Nord Stream 2.


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