President Joe Biden will announce this Thursday the release of a record one million barrels of oil per day for a period of six months. It will use US strategic reserves in a bid to curb rising fuel prices following Russia’s attack on Ukraine, the White House said.
“After consulting with allies and partners, the president will announce the largest release of oil reserves in history, putting on the market an additional million barrels per day on average, every day, for the next six months”said a statement. confirming the expectations of the dramatic movement.
“The scale of this release is unprecedented: The world has never had a release of oil reserves at this rate of a million a day for so long. This record release will provide a historic amount of supply to serve as a bridge to the end of the year when domestic production rises.”
The move will dump a significant amount of supply into the overheated global oil market, which has sent inflationary shockwaves through the US and European economies.
The White House is struggling to find a way to show Americans that Biden has a solution to a problem rooted in the aftershocks of the Covid pandemic and the brutal war unleashed by President Vladimir Putin.
The release would be equivalent to increasing global supplies by about one percent. Biden is scheduled to lay out the details in a speech later Thursday.
Oil prices fell sharply after initial reports of the plan, They came as the OPEC+ group of oil exporters decided to increase production only modestly despite a surge in crude prices following key energy supplier Russia’s decision to invade Ukraine.
Despite a strongly recovering economy and the rapidly receding Covid-19 pandemic, Biden is getting little credit from voters, who instead blame him for rising prices everywhere from the supermarket to auto dealerships. cars.
Supply chain issues related to differing rates of economic recovery around the world are part of the phenomenon of inflation. Behind this politically dangerous trend, however, are also underlying fuel costs, which in turn drive up transport prices for almost all goods.
Gasoline prices currently average $4.23 per gallon, up 47 percent from a year ago.
The price of the US benchmark West Texas Intermediate fell 4.6 percent to $102.89 a barrel, while Brent oil futures fell 5.5 percent to $107.20 a barrel.
Oil prices rose close to $140 a barrel in March on concerns about the loss of Russia’s crude supply, as some “self-sanctioned” oil buyers shunned Russian crude in the wake of international sanctions against Moscow.
Prices have receded somewhat since the United States banned Russian energy imports on March 8, but have remained above $100 a barrel for most of the period since.
(with information from AFP)