The Biden administration reportedly opted Tuesday to not refill the strategic petroleum reserve (SPR), citing market conditions, according to Bloomberg News.
The administration decided against replenishing the key emergency oil supply because it would be too expensive to do so, with oil currently hovering around $80 per barrel, according to unnamed sources cited by Bloomberg. The SPR remains at low levels after President Joe Biden released about 180 million barrels throughout 2022 to bring down gas prices ahead of the November 2022 midterm elections, with some experts saying it could take “decades” to replenish the SPR to peak levels.
“The [Department of Energy (DOE)] remains committed to its replenishment strategy for the SPR, including direct purchases when we can secure a good deal for taxpayers; exchange returns; and cancellation of planned sales where drawdown is unnecessary, in coordination with Congress,” a DOE spokesperson told the Daily Caller News Foundation. (RELATED: ‘Pretty Shameful’: Biden Admin Has Sold Nearly 6 Million Barrels Of Strategic Oil Reserves To China)
EXCLUSIVE: Sen. Josh Hawley Calls For Investigation Into Biden Admin’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve Releases To Chinahttps://t.co/mYguXO1bZv
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Oil prices have rallied over the summer months, a trend partially attributable to announced production cuts from OPEC+ countries like Saudi Arabia and Russia.
Biden administration officials previously stated that they would look to purchase replenishment oil when the per-barrel price dropped to the $67-$72 range, according to Bloomberg. The price of Brent oil crude futures closed Tuesday at over $85, according to MarketWatch.
Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm pledged in July that the agency would replenish the SPR, but she conceded that the undertaking may have to wait until a prospective second term for Biden, according to CNN.
Tuesday’s bidding was the fourth round of bids for refilling the SPR, according to Bloomberg.
The DOE did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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