The historic U.S. emergency oil reserves release aimed at lowering domestic fuel prices led to more than 5 million barrels of oil being exported to Europe and Asia last month, despite record-high gas and diesel prices.
The news of the export to other nations was reported by Reuters a week ago and raised concern over the continued mismanagement of resources by the Biden Administration.
Oil exports from the U.S to reach an all-time high of 3.3m b/d in the current quarter as refinery disruptions and Strategic Petroleum Reserve releases increase available supplies, Rystad Energy says.
The export of crude and fuel hinders the impact of the moves by Biden, who claimed the release of the strategic reserves would lead to lower prices at the pump. U.S. crude inventories are now at the lowest since 2004. Refineries in the U.S. Gulf coast were at 97.9% utilization before the release of the reserves.
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Biden continues to grasp at straws to deflect blame for the rising fuel costs. On Saturday, he called for gas stations to cut their prices, drawing criticism from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.
About 1 million barrels are being released from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) daily. The release is expected to continue through October.
In June, The SPR fell to the lowest since 1986.
U.S. crude futures are above $111 per barrel, and gasoline and diesel prices are above $5 a gallon in most of the country.
According to U.S. Customs data, the fourth-largest U.S. oil refiner, Phillips 66, shipped roughly 470,000 barrels of sour crude from the Big Hill SPR storage site in Texas to Trieste, Italy. Trieste is home to a pipeline sending oil to central Europe refineries.
The same data showed that Atlantic Trading & Marketing, part of parent corporation TotalEnergies, exported two shipments of 560,000 barrels each.
According to Reuters, an industry source stated that cargoes of SPR crude were also headed to the Netherlands and to a Reliance (RELI.NS) refinery in India. A third cargo is headed to China, another source said.
“Crude and fuel prices would likely be higher if (the SPR releases) hadn’t happened, but at the same time, it isn’t really having the effect that was assumed,” Matt Smith, lead oil analyst at Kpler, told the New York Times.
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