Image by Exportneftesnab
During the Helsinki summit, as well as during negotiations with the European Union on trade, Donald Trump has placed American energy dominance, and low gas prices to keep the U.S. economy booming, at the top of his agenda. It looks like he just got some results as Russia will be pumping more oil, most likely ending a production deal with OPEC to keep crude prices high on international markets.
Russia’s energy minister signaled Friday that a coalition of producers could pump more oil than agreed by year-end, a move which would please the Trump administration but signal the possible death of an Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries production deal, reported The Wall Street Journal.
The Russian announcement may be an attempt to lessen U.S. opposition to the Nord Stream II project, which will bring much more Russian gas to Western Europe, threatening Ukraine and the Baltics. Trump made a point at the recent NATO summit to call out Germany in particular for pushing the project, worsening its dependence on Russian gas, while spending little on its own defense.
Oil revenue is critical to the Russian federal budget but with prices in the $60-70 handle trading range, Moscow can afford to boost production to help improve relations with the United States. This announcement is a big boost to Trump’s efforts to engage Russia.