US strategic oil reserves going abroad – Reuters

Millions of barrels released to lower domestic fuel prices were exported in June, according to media reports

The US exported a large amount of crude oil last month that had been released from the country’s emergency reserves in an attempt to lower fuel prices at home, Reuters reported on Wednesday.

Five million barrels were shipped to Europe and Asia in June, according to Reuters data and sources, to destinations in Italy, France, the Netherlands, India and China. Similar shipments were also reported in April and May.

On March 31, President Joe Biden authorized the release of 1 million barrels of crude per day for the next six months from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, aiming to lower domestic gasoline prices. As of April 1, there were 568 million barrels stored in four locations across Southern Louisiana and Texas.

Last month, the SPR fell to its lowest level since 1986, according to US Department of Energy data cited by Reuters. US gasoline prices, a key driver of the highest inflation seen in the country in 40 years, hit a record of $5 per gallon on average last month, driven up by rising oil prices. President Biden warned Americans that they will have to stomach high fuel prices for “as long as it takes,” blaming Russia for the hikes.

Global energy prices have surged due to rising demand in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic as countries attempt to jumpstart their economies. Western sanctions against Russia, a major oil and natural gas exporter, have also contributed to rising energy prices.

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