US to release record amount of reserve oil in ‘moment of peril’ - Biden

i24NEWS - Reuters

3 min read
US President Joe Biden delivers remarks on gas prices from the White House on March 31, 2022, in Washington, DC, the United States.
ANNA MONEYMAKER / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFPUS President Joe Biden delivers remarks on gas prices from the White House on March 31, 2022, in Washington, DC, the United States.

'This is a moment of consequence and peril for the world, and pain at the pump for American families'

US President Joe Biden on Thursday announced plans to release the most emergency oil reserves ever and challenged oil companies to drill more to bring down gasoline prices that are soaring due to the Russia-Ukraine war.

His announcement came as part of an effort to tackle surging inflation that United States consumers are suffering from. 

Starting in May, the US will release one million barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil for six months from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), Biden said.

"This is a moment of consequence and peril for the world, and pain at the pump for American families.”

"It's also a moment of patriotism," Biden added, as he asked oil company executives to serve families rather than investors that they have rewarded with billions of dollars in dividends.

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He further called on Congress to make companies pay fees if they are sitting on thousands of unused oil and gas leases and wells on public lands.

The 180-million-barrel release will cover more than enough Russian oil exports to the US - which Biden banned earlier this month - but is equivalent to only about two days of global demand.

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About three million bpd of Russian oil will be lost to global markets amid Western sanctions, the International Energy Agency estimates.

Biden suggested that the release could push down US gas prices anywhere from $0.10 to $0.35 per gallon, and that allies could release an additional 30-50 million barrels. 

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