Biden's administration also is encouraging the U.S. oil and gas industry to increase production.
"You've just seen the second-quarter results from some of these companies. They are record profits," Amos Hochstein, a senior adviser for energy security at the State Department, said Wednesday on CNBC. "They should be investing those dollars right back into production increases."
Despite the modest increase announced by OPEC+, the administration was trying to highlight that prices are already falling and could fall further with more domestic production.
“We’re pretty pleased with what we’re seeing” on prices for oil and gas down from highs, but “we know that this is not enough,” Hochstein said.
A senior Biden administration official, who insisted on anonymity to discuss private conversations, called the OPEC+ announcement a step forward. The official said the group has restored all the production cuts it made in 2020 during the depths of the pandemic, when oil prices and demand plummeted.
The group has been gradually adding more oil and gas to the market as economies recovered.
Some OPEC nations, such as Angola and Nigeria, have been producing less than the agreed-upon amount. Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates, on the other hand, have the capacity to increase production.
OPEC's decision appears to be an attempt to appease those countries that can't produce more, Rousseau said.
“Any time you increase the target, there’s countries that can’t participate,” he added. “If you only raise production by 100,000 barrels per day, that’s just a small piece for everybody.”
As a result, the amount of oil on the market might not keep up with demand, so high oil prices may persist for some time.
While the U.S. was probably hoping for a larger production increase, “in terms of overall supply/demand management, OPEC’s decision is logical,” Noah Barrett, research analyst for energy and utilities at Janus Henderson Investors, said in a note. “There’s still a great deal of uncertainty on oil demand in the back half of this year, driven by questions around Chinese demand, and the potential for U.S. or even a global recession.”
The price of oil rose sharply after Russia invaded Ukraine in February. It fell somewhat since OPEC+ last met but rose modestly Wednesday. A barrel of U.S. benchmark crude was selling for just over $94, compared with more than $105 per barrel a month ago. Brent crude, the international standard, was selling for just over $100 a barrel, also down about $110 from a month ago.
Russia's oil and natural gas exports to the world have declined as many nations imposed sanctions or curtailed buying from the major supplier due to its invasion of Ukraine. Russia also has reduced or cut off natural gas to a dozen European countries, further driving up energy prices, squeezing people's spending power and threatening to cause a recession if nations can't stockpile enough natural gas to get through the winter.
It was the first official monthly meeting of the OPEC+ group since its leader, Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, died at age 63 in his home country of Nigeria last month. Haitham al-Ghais, a veteran of the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation, took over as secretary general of OPEC this week.
In the U.S., a gallon of regular gasoline was selling for $4.16 on average Wednesday. That's substantially lower than in June, when the nationwide average surpassed $5 a gallon, but it's still painfully high for many front-line workers and families to afford and about 31% higher than what drivers were paying a year ago.
Associated Press writers Josh Boak and Zeke Miller in Washington contributed to this report.