Empire Strikes Back: US Will Sell Strategic Oil Reserves

US President Joe Biden said on Thursday that he had decided to send an average of 1 million barrels of oil per day to the market from the US strategic reserve over the next six months.

Today I approved the release of 1 million barrels of oil per day from the strategic reserve over the next six months.“, Biden said, speaking at the White House.

“Today, I am laying out a two-part plan that will end this era of dependency and uncertainty, and lay a new foundation for America’s true and enduring energy independence,” he said.

“Imagine if Europe didn’t have to rely on Russian oil, if it were energy independent, it would change the nature of so many things,” Biden added.

Previously, OPEC+ kept its strategy of gradually moderate supply increases unchanged, apparently wanting to keep prices high.

Washington had a ready answer. Confirming previously released information that caused a significant drop in prices, the White House announced that it would start producing 1 million barrels per day for at least six months. This practically results in the release of a gigantic amount of 180 million barrels, i.e. nearly one-third of the country’s total reserves.

“The scale of the release is unprecedented: the world has never seen a strategic release of one million barrels a day of reserves for such a long time,” the White House said in a statement.

It was on the latter issue of domestic production by US groups that the White House was particularly poignant, criticizing energy companies for “occupying” more than 12 million acres of federal land and having 9,000 invalid production licenses, which means they could already increase domestic production. . Companies that do not begin to exploit these lands will begin to pay fines, Biden said.

In total, the United States has taken this step three times since last year, most recently after the Russian invasion, to help bring prices down. But the current move will be by far the biggest in the White House’s attempt to act even more aggressively, sending a message to both Arab countries and OPEC members who, despite pressure from the United States and allies, refuse to deviate from a modest increase in supply.

Recall that in early March, the member countries of the International Energy Agency (IEA) decided to release 60 million barrels of oil from their emergency reserves in order to “send a convincing signal” to the world oil market that there will be no shortage of supplies as a result of Russia’s operation in Ukraine.

The United States imposed a ban on oil and gas imports from Russia on March 8.

Putin declaredthat from April 1, the Russian Federation will sell gas only for rubles or suspend supplies.

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