The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM) announced Tuesday that it will draw for sale a new batch of 20 million barrels of crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) as part of President Joe Biden’s plan to counteract the effect of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on the energy sector.
In late March, as the invasion of Ukraine was just beginning, President Biden announced that he would release one million barrels per day from the SPR to maintain oil supplies to the U.S. economy, and the plan is set to end in October.
JUST IN – US issues fifth emergency notice of sale of crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, depletes another 20 million barrels.https://t.co/i2SG2KnLAq
— Disclose.tv (@disclosetv) July 26, 2022
Distribution of barrels and effects on the economy
In this new opportunity, DOE will release 2.8 million barrels of sour crude and 17.2 million barrels of sweet crude, for a total of 20 million barrels to be delivered from September 16 through October 21 of this year.
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DOE will sell 7.6 million barrels from the Big Hill Reservoir, located in Jefferson County, Texas; 9.6 million from the West Hackberry Reservoir in Cameron Parish, Louisiana; and another 2.8 million from the Bryan Mound Reservoir in Brazoria County, Texas.
The SPR is the largest emergency reserve in the world and has the capacity to hold about 714 million barrels of crude oil. This is not the first time President Biden has turned to the SPR to combat rising fuel prices, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine has not been his only excuse.
In November 2021, when the Democratic administration was barely ten months at the helm of the country and after a series of measures that directly affected gasoline prices, President Biden announced the release of 50 million barrels of gas.
Today I'm announcing action to lower the cost of gas and oil for American families.
The Department of Energy will make available releases of 50 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to lower gas and oil prices for Americans.
— President Biden (@POTUS) November 23, 2021
Although he managed to stabilize the price for a few weeks, he could not stop the supply crisis and Americans began to pay more for a gallon of gasoline despite the measure. One month later, fuel had already increased by 18% since the beginning of the Biden administration.
According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), a gallon of gas averages $4.32 nationwide, while in states like California Americans can pay as much as $7 per gallon.