US buys 3 million barrels of oil to start rebuilding reserves

WASHINGTON: The Biden Administration said it was buying 3 million barrels of oil to start replenishing US Strategic Reserves which officials drained earlier this year in a bid to keep gasoline prices from rising amid OPEC production cuts and a ban on Russian oil imports.
President Joe Biden withdrew 180 million barrels from the Strategic Oil Reserve starting in March, bringing the stock to its lowest level since the 1980s. The purchase, which will begin in January, will begin to replenish the reserve and will be likely followed by additional purchases, officials said.
The Energy Department called the purchase a “good deal for US taxpayers” because the price will be below the average $96 a barrel for which US oil has been sold. The replenishment will also enhance U.S. energy security, the department said in a statement. The purchase price was not announced, but benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude oil was selling at $74.50 a barrel late Friday.
Tapping the reserve is one of the few things a president can do on his own to try to control the inflation that impoverishes Americans and often creates political liability for the party that controls the White House.
World oil prices were increasing even before Russia invaded Ukraine last February. When Biden announced a ban on Russian oil imports in early March, he acknowledged that it would come at a cost to American consumers.


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