Biden Running on Fumes as He Seeks Saudi Arabia’s Help on Lowering Gas Prices

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Saudi Arabia is one of the world’s biggest oil producers, but it has yet to lift targets for output as prices shot up this year.

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Fayez Nureldine/AFP/Getty Images

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President Joe Biden won’t get an agreement with Saudi Arabia to boost oil production to help lower the price of gasoline, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the situation.

Biden has been traveling in the Middle East this week and will go to Saudi Arabia on Friday from Israel. It had been hoped that the trip would lead to an announcement of higher oil output targets. Talks will continue even after the trip, the people were reported to have said.

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Gasoline prices above $5 a gallon and the fastest consumer-price inflation in four decades are hurting Biden in the eyes of voters. The Democratic Party is bracing for defeats in midterm elections last this year.

The price of West Texas Intermediate, the US crude benchmark that has been the main driver of higher gas prices in the US, slipped below $100 a barrel earlier this month on concern that an economic slowdown will dent demand. It traded up 0.3% on Friday at $96.08, compared with more than $120 in early June.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is scheduled to meet on Aug. 3. So far, the group has stuck to earlier agreements to only gradually increase production this year. Changing the quotas requires unanimous agreement among the countries.

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