The U.S. has allowed more than 5 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to be exported to Europe and Asia, a move that contradicts President Biden’s statements about trying to bring down the cost of soaring prices at the pump.
The exports are part of a broader and historic release of 1 million barrels per day through October from the reserves, one of several efforts by Mr. Biden to blunt high fuel costs that have had minimal impacts.
Phillips 66, one of the country’s largest oil refiners, has shipped roughly 470,000 barrels from a reserve storage site in Texas to Italy, according to Reuters. Atlantic Trading & Marketing, part of French oil company TotalEnergies, exported more than 1.1 million.
The outlet reported that U.S. crude from the reserves was also bound for the Netherlands, India and China.
In total, Mr. Biden plans to release up to 260 million barrels of oil from domestic reserves from October 2021 through October 2022. There were roughly 618 million barrels at the end of September 2021. The reserve is expected to be depleted to less than 400 million, the lowest since 1984.
The average price for a gallon of regular gas was $4.78 as of Wednesday, according to AAA. It has come down slightly in the past several weeks from its previous high of roughly $5 per gallon, but costs remain far above that of a year ago when it was $3.13.
The White House in recent days has doubled down on its criticism of Big Oil by reiterating its call for energy companies and gas stations to trim their profits due to Russia’s war in Ukraine that has exacerbated the lack of global supply.