Singapore June 22 2022: Oil prices skidded in early trade on Wednesday amid a push by U.S. President Joe Biden to bring down soaring fuel costs, including pressure on major U.S. firms to help ease the pain for drivers during the country's peak summer demand.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell $3.97, or 3.62%, to $105.55 a barrel, while Brent crude futures dropped $3.81, or 3.32%, to $110.84 a barrel.
As the United States struggles to tackle soaring gasoline prices and inflation, U.S. President Joe Biden is expected on Wednesday to call for temporarily suspending the 18.4-cents a gallon federal tax on gasoline, a source briefed on the plan told Reuters. Biden had disclosed on Monday he was considering whether to call for a pause in the tax.
"Even oil traders acknowledged that higher oil prices hence higher gasoline prices would lead to a more aggressive tag team onslaught from the (U.S.) Fed pushing rates higher and the Biden administration getting increasingly more creative on the political and fiscal front to tame the energy inflation beast," said Stephen Innes, managing partner at SPI Asset Management.
Seven oil companies are set to meet Biden on Thursday, under pressure from the White House to drive down fuel prices as they make record profits.
Chevron Chief Executive Michael Wirth, however, on Tuesday, said criticising the oil industry was not the way to bring down fuel prices.
"These actions are not beneficial to meeting the challenges we face," Wirth said in a letter addressed to Biden, which sparked a response from Biden saying the industry was being too sensitive.