The United States is ready to release even more barrels of crude oil from its emergency stockpiles, a senior advisor from the State Department told CNBC today.
The Biden Administration announced last week that it would release 50 million barrels of crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserves to bring down gasoline prices.
But according to Amos Hochstein, the U.S. State Department’s senior advisor for global energy security, the United States has enough to release even more.
32 million barrels of the 50 million barrels that will be released from the emergency stockpiles will be released in the form of an exchange-meaning those barrels will be replenished at some point.
“This is a tool that was available to us and will be available again,” Hochstein said.
The bold statement that the United States could release even more crude oil comes not only days before OPEC+ meets again to decide whether it should stay the course with its planned 400,000 barrel per day production hike, pause the increase, or even cut production—it also comes on the same day as the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that recent legislation and the 50 million bpd release could already drain the SPR by about half by 2032.
This includes 87.6 million barrels due to be released from the Infrastructure and Jobs Act between 2028 and 2031 and 160 million barrels from the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act and the Bipartisan Budget Act.
If the SPR is indeed halved by 2032, this would bring the SPR to its lowest level since March 1983, the EIA added.
Oil prices fell over the weekend on new Covid variant fears, but recovered somewhat on Monday.