Washington DC: President Joe Biden is preparing to order the release of up to 1 million barrels of oil per day from the nation’s strategic petroleum reserve, according to two people familiar with the decision, in a bid to control energy prices that have spiked as the U.S. and allies have imposed steep sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine
The announcement could come as soon as Thursday when the White House says Biden is planning to deliver remarks on his administration’s plans to combat rising gas prices. The duration of the release hasn’t been finalized but could last for several months. The people spoke on the condition of anonymity to preview the decision.
High oil prices have not coaxed more production, creating a challenge for Biden. The president has seen his popularity sink as inflation reached a 40-year high in February and the cost of petroleum and gasoline climbed after Russia invaded Ukraine. Crude oil on Wednesday traded at nearly $105 a barrel, up from about $60 a year ago.
The steady release from the reserves would be a meaningful sum and come near to closing the domestic production gap relative to February 2020, before the coronavirus caused a steep decline in oil output.