Joe Biden is close to announcing another major release of US oil reserves

Three people familiar with the plan said President Joe Biden is close to announcing another major release of oil from emergency stocks in the United States as he ramps up his efforts to cool crude prices fueled by rising inflation across the economy.

On Thursday, the White House is expected to take the third and perhaps the largest step oil release Announced since November.

Oil prices fell after reports of Biden’s impending announcement, as US West Texas Intermediate crude fell 4.9 percent to $102.49, and benchmark Brent crude fell 3.6 percent to $109.34.

A person familiar with the plan said final details are still being worked out, but the release of the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve is expected to last several months and reach 1 million barrels of oil per day.

The United States consumes about 20 million barrels per day, which is about a fifth of global demand.

At 1.30 p.m. Thursday, Biden is scheduled to speak about his administration’s “measures to limit the impact of [Vladimir] Putin is raising energy prices and lowering gas prices at the pumps for American families,” according to the White House schedule.

Since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, Biden has increasingly blamed the Russian president for high inflation Damage his consent ratings and damage the Democratic Party’s chances of retaining control of Congress in the November midterm elections.

The White House’s move also comes as Western countries have stepped up sanctions against Russia, the world’s largest oil exporter, including a Ban by the United States on oil imports from the country in the wake of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

The International Energy Agency, the watchdog for Western consuming nations, said this month that sanctions against Russia and the reluctance of shippers to load Russian crude could cut the country’s production by as much as 3 million barrels per day, or about 3 percent of the global total. by April.

It would not be surprising that the administration extended [earlier stock releases] “Given the significant risks of disruption to Russian oil supplies, it’s not going away,” said Bob McNally, an adviser to former US President George W. Bush who now heads consulting firm Rapidan Energy Group.

Oil prices have risen since the invasion, with international benchmark Brent crude falling Highest level in 14 years This month. the prices almost doubled Last year, while average gasoline prices rose 50 percent and set records in recent weeks.

The United States also urged Saudi Arabia and other major oil producers in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to increase the pace of oversupply, but the organization did so Resist the pressure to do this. The group of producers will meet on Thursday to decide their production policy.

The Strategic Petroleum Reserve is a government-run emergency storage complex consisting of four underground sites in salt domes along the US Gulf Coast. It currently has 568 million barrels of crude oil, according to the Federal Energy Information Administration.

Biden announced his release from SPR in November, and last month the United States joined other members of the International Energy Agency in Coordinated global edition.

Previous large releases of stocks occurred after supply disruptions such as Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the Libyan civil war in 2011.

The Energy Department declined to comment.

Additional reporting by Miles McCormick in New York

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