Biden Looks to SPR Again to Tame Prices

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US President Joe Biden this week rolled out plans to sell off 15 million barrels of crude stocks, part of a wider effort by the administration to blunt the economic impacts of elevated oil prices. The latest sale from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) rounds out the 180 million bbl already authorized by the administration and comes after Opec-plus' decision earlier this month to cut production by a headline 2 million barrels per day — a move that infuriated the White House. US officials unveiled details on a plan to buy back SPR volumes at a West Texas Intermediate (WTI) price of $67-$72 per barrel, a move meant to offer producers something of a soft floor to buffer demand concerns in the hopes of spurring near-term production. “That means oil companies can invest to ramp up production now … Refining and refilling the reserve at $70/bbl is a good price for companies and it’s a good price for taxpayers,” Biden said Wednesday. Senior administration officials called the planned fixed-price contracts a “helpful signaling” for stimulating domestic production should WTI prices, which now hover around $85/bbl, fall significantly.

Oil Prices, Oil Inventories, Policy and Regulation, Opec/Opec-Plus
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