Oil and gas companies that can increase production should do so immediately to help quell the growing energy crisis, US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said on Wednesday.
“Putin’s actions have sent the oil market reeling. We are on a war footing—an emergency—and we have to responsibly increase short-term supply where we can,” Granholm told attendees at the CERAWeek by S&P Global conference in Houston.
“Right now, we need oil and gas production to rise to meet current demand.” Granholm said the administration’s priorities in response to the current market turbulence were to first increase supply, a tough challenge she acknowledged amid constraints and one that has it looking beyond its borders for solutions.
“I appreciate the fact that there are so many that have stepped up and said, ‘we are going to do what we can’. I know that there are challenges with supply chain, workforce and more,” she said.
“But we are looking where we can, both in the US and across the world, to see who can increase supply, and who as well have the reserves.”
Last week the administration announced a 60-million-barrel release from a collective action from the International Energy Agency, of which the US contributed 30 million barrels.
“It’s a short-term answer,” she said. “We don’t know how long this is going to last, but we are very focused on right now alleviating pain at the pump to the extent we can,” noting that most do not realize that the oil market is a global one.
“People are starting to connect the dots and realize that it is this global market, and that the solutions must be very large solutions,” she said.
For reference, average US fuel prices on Wednesday set a new national record for highest recorded prices at $4.25 a gallon, according to the AAA.
Contrary to what the oil and gas industry believe, Granholm said President Biden’s administration wants to act as a partner with it.
“We need to partner,” she said. “And we have to partner to ensure this doesn’t happen again.”
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