As crucial mid-term congressional elections in November draw near, the Trump administration is feeling the heat over higher oil prices. London-traded global oil benchmark Brent breached the $80 per barrel price point on Wednesday, its highest level since May 2. NYMEX-traded U.S. oil benchmark West Texas Intermediate Crude (WTI) reached over $70 per barrel on Wednesday.
While both benchmarks pared gains on Thursday, moving back from four month highs, as investors focused on risk from the ongoing emerging market crises and trade disputes that could trim demand as supply tightens, high oil prices along with corresponding higher gasoline prices in the U.S. have the opportunity to play havoc with Republican hopes to hold onto key seats in November and retain control in Congress. Such a loss would ensure that Trump’s second half in office would face severe uphill battles with possible heightened calls from Democrats for impeachment.
Amid higher oil prices that could easily settle above $80 per, U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry is reaching out to Russia.
“The kingdom (Saudi Arabia), the members of OPEC that are opting their production to be able to make sure that the citizenry of the world does not see a spike in oil price … are to be admired and appreciated, and Russia is one of them,” Perry said after meeting Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak in Moscow on Wednesday.
The U.S., Russia and Saudi Arabia are also working together to make sure the world has access to affordable energy, Perry added.
Reaching out to Russia
In what can arguably be called an act of concession prompted by worries over spiking global oil prices, Perry said he proposed creating a joint investment fund to develop new projects with Russia, adding the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) could be part of such a fund. The RDIF said that is supported such a fund.
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