HOUSTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration is weighing the need for further releases of crude oil Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm told Reuters on Thursday the country’s emergency stockpile after the current program ends in October.
An Energy Department official later said the White House is not currently considering releasing new oil from the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) 180 ) for months The million barrels announced by the former president.
The Biden administration has delivered about 1 million barrels per day of oil from SPR inventories this year to reduce fuel prices and energy inflation ahead of the 2019 midterm elections in November.
Year-to-date releases helped lower the average U.S. retail gasoline price to $3 a gallon from $5 this week. 75June. But they also cut U.S. emergency inventories to below 75 million barrels, the lowest level since 75.
OPEC and its allies led by Russia agreed on Monday to cut production slightly starting next month in a bid to boost oil prices, which have slid on fears of an economic slowdown.
Abhiram Rajendran, global head of oil at Energy Intelligence, said it was “too early to say more SPRs will be issued”. “But it’s possible if OPEC starts aggressively cutting supply.”
Since the midterms due to Congress-mandated sales and Biden’s price initiative 2020 , U.S. overall crude oil inventories have been falling.
Price Futures Group analyst Phil Flynn said that without the release of the SPR, U.S. commercial crude oil inventories “would be much lower than they are now and already below average.”
Granholm also said during a visit to Houston on Thursday that the administration and allies are still discussing capping the price of Russian oil purchases. The price cap would limit the income Russia could earn during its invasion of Ukraine.
The administration has not ruled out a U.S. fuel export ban, but said “certainly not the most important thing,” she said.
Granholm recently wrote to U.S. refiners urging them to restock low fuel inventories ahead of winter and curb growth in gasoline and diesel exports. The letter warned that if fuel inventories fell further, the government could take unspecified emergency measures.