President Joe Biden’s administration allowed over 5 million barrels of American oil released from the U.S. emergency reserves to be sent overseas to Europe and Asia – including China – last month, despite the administration’s claim that releasing oil from the reserves would provide some relief to Americans feeling the pain at the pump.
According to Reuters on Tuesday, the Biden administration is releasing roughly 1 million barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve each day until October – a move that is draining the emergency supply, which dropped to its lowest since 1986 in June.
According to U.S. Customs data, one of the largest U.S. oil refineries, Phillips 66, shipped nearly 470,000 barrels of sour crude from Texas to Trieste, Italy, which is home to a pipeline that transports oil to central Europe.
Atlantic Trading & Marketing also exported over 1.1 million barrels. Industry sources told Reuters that cargoes of crude were also bound for the Netherlands, India and China.
“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,” said Matt Smith, lead oil analyst at Kpler.
Meanwhile, Biden continues to defer the blame away from his administration, with his latest attack aimed at companies running gas stations.
“Let’s be honest with one another. My message is simple. To the companies running gas stations and setting those prices at the pump: this is a time of war. Global peril. Ukraine. These are not normal times. Bring down the price you are charging at the pump to reflect the cost you are paying for the product. Do it now. Do it today,” Biden said.
Earlier this year, the White House flaunted the “largest release of oil reserves in history,” which the administration suggested would help “Americans face rising prices at the pump because of Putin’s Price Hike.”
“After consultation with allies and partners, the President will announce the largest release of oil reserves in history, putting one million additional barrels on the market per day on average – every day – for the next six months,” the White House said in March. “The scale of this release is unprecedented: the world has never had a release of oil reserves at this 1 million per day rate for this length of time. This record release will provide a historic amount of supply to serve as bridge until the end of the year when domestic production ramps up.”