Biden Administration to Sell 20 Million More Barrels of Oil From Strategic Petroleum Reserve

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President Joe Biden’s administration plans to sell an additional 20 million barrels of oil, according to a notice of the sale filed on July 26.

Interested parties were told to submit offers to the U.S. Department of Energy by Aug. 2 to purchase the oil, with delivery slated to take place between Sept. 16 and Oct. 21.

The oil is part of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, a U.S. government facility that holds oil in caverns in Texas and Louisiana.

Biden, a Democrat, in March authorized selling 180 million barrels of crude oil from the reserve as part of his administration’s efforts to combat soaring gas prices.

More than 125 million barrels have been sold so far across four sales, according to the White House.

Criticism

Nearly 2 million of the barrels have been sold to an entity linked to the Chinese Communist Party, according to an Epoch Times review, drawing criticism from Republicans.

“Sending U.S. petroleum reserves to foreign adversaries is wrong, and it undermines our national security,” Rep. Clay Higgins (R-La.) told The Epoch Times.

Bidding on the oil is price-competitive, with sales going to the highest bidder.

Unipec, the entity, has lodged a number of bids in the past, and secured nearly 2 million barrels from the recent spate of sales as well as 4 million barrels during the fall of 2021 from a separate sale.

The sales to China could be unlawful, Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) warned the Biden administration on Tuesday.

Impact on Prices

The reason given for unloading oil from the reserve is to lower gas prices, which have skyrocketed to unprecedented levels since Biden took office.

“This is a wartime bridge to increase oil supply until production ramps up later this year. And it is by far the largest release from our national reserve in our history,” Biden said in prepared remarks on March 31.

According to an analysis released by the U.S. Department of Treasury this week, the release of barrels from the reserve, along with the release of additional barrels by International Energy Administration partners, has lowered the price by 17 cents to 42 cents a gallon.

Analysts found that the gallon price was lowered by about 38 cents using an alternate approach.

“This decline in prices had meaningful benefits for American consumers and helped to mitigate the impacts of rising gas prices on economywide inflation,” the analysts, Assistant Secretary Benjamin Harris and Deputy Assistant Secretary Catherine Wolfram, wrote. “Moving forward, the Biden Administration is committed to further addressing concerns about rising energy prices.”

Eva Fu contributed to this report.

Zachary Stieber

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Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.