The United States used up almost 13 million barrels of its Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) since mid-October to meet supply disruptions, even before the 50 million barrels committed by President Joe Biden to bring down runaway fuel prices, government data showed on Wednesday
WASHINGTON (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 01st December, 2021) The United States used up almost 13 million barrels of its Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) since mid-October to meet supply disruptions, even before the 50 million barrels committed by President Joe Biden to bring down runaway fuel prices, government data showed on Wednesday.
The amount of crude held by the SPR fell by 12.7 million barrels in the seven weeks to November 26, amounting to an average weekly use of 1.8 million barrels, according to Sputnik calculations of weekly data released by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).
Biden announced last month that the United States will release 50 million barrels from the SPR from mid-December, under a coordinated action with other major oil consuming countries, to tamp down fuel prices at US pumps that were retailing at seven-year highs averaging at just under $3.40 per gallon.
Biden has been criticized by rival Republicans for using the US oil reserves to fight inflation when such supplies are typically used to fill shortages in times of crisis in oil supply. Inflation in the United States has grown by its fastest pace in more than three decades this year, the Consumer price Index indicated, as the economy rebounded from the 2020 lockdowns and other coronavirus pandemic measures.
Republicans have introduced legislation that would prevent the Biden administration from opening the SPR for non-emergency reasons until it develops a plan to boost oil and gas production on Federal lands.
The EIA said last week that based on the scheduled releases of the SPR, the US crude reserves could be halved by 2032, bringing it to the lowest level since 1983.
Aside from special allocations, like those announced by Biden, the SPR is commonly used to fill crude oil shortages forced by production outages related to hurricanes and other natural calamities. The United States has had a string of hurricanes this year, mostly notably Ida, which shut down more than 90% of oil and gas production in September.