By Associated Press - Wednesday, March 9, 2022

The United Arab Emirates said Wednesday it will urge OPEC to consider boosting oil output.

The announcement followed a U.S. ban on imports of Russian oil, the latest in a series of sanctions designed to punish Russia for the war in Ukraine. Oil prices have risen sharply since Russia – the world’s third-largest oil producer – invaded Ukraine late last month.

“We favor production increases and will be encouraging OPEC to consider higher production levels,” UAE’s ambassador to the United States, Yousef Al Otaiba, said in a statement posted on his embassy’s website. He said his country believes that stability in energy markets is critical to the global economy.

The UAE is a longtime member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, which last week, along with its oil-producing allies including Russia, said it was sticking to its plan to gradually increase oil production rather that opening the spigots further.

The UAE was the world’s seventh-largest oil producing nation in 2020, according to U.S. Department of Energy figures published in December of last year.

Oil prices surged Tuesday after President Joe Biden announced the U.S. ban on Russian oil. But the possibility of increased OPEC output helped send prices tumbling Wednesday. A barrel of U.S. crude oil dropped 11% to $110.12.

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