Elon Musk calls for increasing oil and gas output ‘immediately’ in wake of Ukraine invasion

Elon Musk says he supports increasing US oil and gas output in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine despite the “negative” impact it would have on Tesla.

The electric vehicle entrepreneur took to Twitter to say that he supported the move, which could bring down escalating gas prices in America during the current crisis.

And he urged Ukraine to “hold strong” while he gave his “sympathies to the great people of Russia, who do not want this.”

Mr Musk, who has become the world’s richest man by revolutionising the auto industry, admitted that his stance was counterintuitive.

“Hate to say it, but we need to increase oil & gas output immediately. Extraordinary times demand extraordinary measures,” he tweeted on Friday.

“Obviously, this would negatively affect Tesla, but sustainable energy solutions simply cannot react instantaneously to make up for Russian oil & gas exports.”

Gas prices are surging across the US, to their highest level in nearly a decade, with the national average for a gallon of regular gas stood at $3.83 on Friday, the most expensive since 2012.

Gas prices over $5.00 a gallon are posted at a petrol station in Los Angeles, California on March 4, 2022. (AFP via Getty Images)
Gas prices over $5.00 a gallon are posted at a petrol station in Los Angeles, California on March 4, 2022. (AFP via Getty Images)

In California, the state average is now $5.07 per gallon.

Observers say that the increase is being driven by rising oil costs, with the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the sanctions placed on the country increasing fears of supply shortage.

It is the latest in a string of Tweets that the businessman has made this week about the conflict in Europe.

In one the SpaceX boss mocked Russia after the head of its space programme said that the country would not provide the US with rocket engines, and posted a video of his company launching yet another one into orbit.

He has also tweeted advice to Ukraine’s leaders about the best way to keep the internet running in the war-torn country, after activating SpaceX’s satellite internet over it and providing terminals.