According to the sources, The USA plans to sell oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in a bid to bring down fuel prices before next month’s congressional elections.
USA President Joe Biden’s announcement is expected this week as part of the response to Russia’s war on Ukraine, one of the sources said.
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The sale would market the remaining 14 million barrels from Biden’s previously announced, and largest-ever, release from the reserve of 180 million barrels that started in May.
The USA administration has also spoken with oil companies about selling an additional 26 million barrels from a congressionally mandated sale in the fiscal year 2023, which began on 1st Oct.
The Department of Energy will also release further details on buying the oil back, reflecting the White House’s desire to combat rising pump prices while supporting domestic drillers.
Rising retail gasoline prices have helped boost inflation to the highest in decades, posing a risk to Biden and his fellow Democrats ahead of the Nov. 8 midterm elections, in which they are seeking to keep control of Congress.
President Biden said last week that gasoline prices are too high and that he would have more to say about lowering costs this week. Deputy energy secretary David Turk also said last week the administration can tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, or SPR, in the coming weeks and months as necessary to stabilize oil.
The administration has spoken with energy companies about buying back oil through 2025 to replenish the SPR, the sources said, after Biden in March announced the biggest sale ever, 180 million barrels, from May to October.
The Energy Department still has about 14 million barrels of SPR oil left to sell from the historic release, because selling was slowed in July and August by holidays and hot weather.
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