Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A maze of crude oil pipes and valves is pictured throughout a tour by the Department of Energy at the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in Freeport, Texas, U.S. June 9, 2016. REUTERS/Richard Carson
By Arathy Somasekhar
HOUSTON (Reuters) -U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration is weighing the necessity for further releases of from the country’s emergency stockpiles following the current program leads to October, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm told Reuters on Thursday.
A Department Of Energy official later said the White House had not been considering new releases from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) at the moment beyond the 180 million barrels that the president announced months ago.
The Biden administration this season has delivered about 1 million barrels of oil each day from SPR stockpiles to lessen fuel costs and pare energy inflation before midterm elections in November.
The releases up to now this season have helped knock average U.S. retail gasoline prices right down to $3.75 a gallon this week from $5 a gallon in June. However they likewise have cut U.S. emergency stocks to below 450 million barrels, lowest since 1984.
OPEC and its own allies led by Russia on Monday decided to a little oil production cut beginning the following month to bolster prices which have slid on fears of an economic slowdown.
It really is “just a little early to state to say that there surely is going to become more SPR releases,” said Abhiram Rajendran, head of global oil at Energy Intelligence. “But if OPEC starts getting aggressive on cutting supply, that is clearly a possibility.”
The country’s overall crude stocks have already been declining since mid-2020 because of sales from congressional mandates and Biden’s price initiative.
Minus the SPR releases, U.S. commercial crude oil inventories “will be lower than they’re plus they are already substandard,” said Phil Flynn, an analyst at Price Futures Group.
Granholm also said throughout a stop by at Houston on Thursday that the administration and allies remain discussing a cap on charges for Russian oil purchases. A cost cap would restrict revenues open to Russia amid its invasion of Ukraine.
The administration have not eliminated a U.S. fuel export ban, but said it really is “definitely not something along with the list,” she said.
Granholm recently wrote to U.S. refiners urging them to replenish low fuel inventories before winter also to curb rising exports of gasoline and diesel. The letter warned the administration might take unspecified emergency measures if fuel stocks fell further.