The White House said Tuesday that it hopes that member countries of the OPEC Plus group will decide to release supplies of oil to meet demand when they meet this week.

He added that it was disappointing that oil prices would fall without a similar drop in gasoline prices at gas stations.

"Yes, we're disappointed. We're disappointed because you've seen a drop in oil prices and you haven't seen a drop in gasoline prices," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said at a press briefing.

She added that the White House is in regular contact with OPEC member countries and hopes that they will take action during its meeting tomorrow, Wednesday.

"We hope that they will release supplies to meet market demand," Psaki added.

 fragile growth

For his part, the Director-General of the International Energy Agency, Fatih Birol, expressed on Tuesday his hope that oil and gas producing countries - especially OPEC countries - would continue to increase their production to protect the recovery of the global economy.

On the sidelines of a conference held at the French Ministry of Environmental Transformation, Birol said that "the world is recovering from an economic crisis, but this growth is fragile... High energy prices may constitute a major obstacle to growth and impose inflationary pressures on economies."

Birol said that "OPEC countries will meet in a few days. I will be pleased to continue their current policies and to continue increasing their production," considering that the proper functioning of global economies "is important to all of us."

He believed that "the rise in oil prices at the present time would damage the global recovery," and said, "I think that gas and oil producers should contribute to calming energy markets and help reduce volatility."

Oil prices crossed the threshold of $85 a barrel, but have recently returned and fallen, especially against the backdrop of concerns about the impact of the Omicron variable on demand.

The member states of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries meet on Wednesday, and then on Thursday they hold a meeting with their partners in "OPEC Plus".

Many experts expect the production increase scheduled for January to be suspended.

And US oil futures settled at $66.18 a barrel, down $3.77, or 5.39%, on Tuesday.

By 16:25 GMT, Brent crude contracts for February delivery plunged $5.38, or 7.35%, to $67.84 a barrel.