Joe Biden Reportedly to Announce ‘Unprecedented in Size, Duration’ Release of US Oil Reserves

© AFP 2023 / ANNA MONEYMAKERU.S. President Joe Biden gives remarks a the DNC Winter Meeting at the Washington Hilton Hotel on March 10, 2022 in Washington, DC
U.S. President Joe Biden gives remarks a the DNC Winter Meeting at the Washington Hilton Hotel on March 10, 2022 in Washington, DC - Sputnik International, 1920, 31.03.2022
For months now, amid skyrocketing oil prices, the Joe Biden administration has been supplying refiners with loaned crude from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), an emergency stockpile of petroleum maintained by the US Department of Energy (DOE). However, this has had a negligible effect so far.
US President Joe Biden is planning to announce another release of oil from its Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) as part of a plan aimed at reducing crude prices that are fueling inflation, reported The Washington Post.
The announcement by the White House of the release of 1 million barrels per day from the SPR on an ongoing basis for several months would mark the third and biggest oil release since November, according to sources familiar with the plan cited by the publication.
The impending release is purportedly being coordinated with the International Energy Agency. Washington’s allies and partners have been informed about the planned measure, added the outlet.
Crude oil storage tanks are seen from above at the Cushing oil hub, appearing to run out of space to contain a historic supply glut that has hammered prices, in Cushing, Oklahoma, March 24, 2016. - Sputnik International, 1920, 29.03.2022
Oil Prices Hit 2-Week Lows, US Crude Breaks Below $100 Support
Reports of Biden’s impending announcement drove oil prices down, with US oil marker, West Texas Intermediate, slipping 4.7 per cent to $102.75, while international benchmark Brent crude went down 3.7 per cent to reach $109.30 on Wednesday.
Such a vast release from the US oil reserves would be “unprecedented in size and duration,” Robert McNally, consultant and president of Rapidan Energy Group, was cited as saying.
“I would like to see the details, but it is not surprising — given that the sizable Russian supply risk has not gone away — that the administration is extending the releases from the SPR drawdown. This would be the first ever, sequential, historic move if he made it,” added McNally.
Last November the Biden administration announced the release of 50 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
Workers walk as oil pumps are seen in the background in the Uzen oil and gas field in the Mangistau Region of Kazakhstan November 13, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 30.03.2022
Oil Up 3% on Wednesday Based on Talk of New Russia Sanctions
The fresh report comes as Joe Biden is due to speak on “his administration’s actions to reduce the impact of [Vladimir] Putin’s price hike on energy prices and lower gas prices at the pump for American families”, according to the White House schedule.
Since Moscow began its special operation to demilitarize and de-Nazify Ukraine, Washington and its NATO allies have slapped rounds of sweeping sanctions on Moscow, the world’s largest petroleum exporter.
US President Joe Biden announcing a total ban on Russia’s energy imports on 8 March. The UK followed suit, vowing to phase out imports of Russian oil and oil products by the end of 2022. The European Commission announced an ambitious plan to reduce reliance on Russian gas by two-thirds before Christmas, and abolish Russian fossil fuel, such as coal and oil, by 2030.
During Biden's visit to Europe last week, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen vowed to "reduce dependence" on Russia's energy supplies, while on 27 March Germany also pledged to become "more energy independent" from Russia's oil, coal, and gas.
Flames from a gas burner on a cooker are seen February 1, 2017 in this illustration photo taken in a private home in Nice, France.  Picture taken February 1, 2017 - Sputnik International, 1920, 28.03.2022
Petro-Ruble: Why Western States Will End Up Buying Russian Gas for Rubles
Joe Biden has increasingly blamed Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, for the high inflation that has been driven by soaring energy prices. Crude costs surged since the Ukraine crisis, with international benchmark Brent hitting 14-year highs in March. Overall, throughout the past year, oil prices have almost doubled, with average petrol prices shooting up by almost 50 per cent and similarly boasting record highs over the past weeks.
Gazprom has repeatedly denied any allegations of anti-competitive behaviour, stressing that it was supplying gas in accordance with its contracts. Russian President Vladimir Putin joined the country's energy officials in saying that EU policies, including a halt in the certification of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, should be blamed for the crisis.
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