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How Big A Problem Is America’s Shrinking Oil Reserve?

How Big A Problem Is America’s Shrinking Oil Reserve?

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Irina Slav

Irina Slav

Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.

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U.S. SPR Releases Set To End This Fall

  • The U.S. will end SPR releases as scheduled this fall.
  • Special Coordinator Hochstein: "We can't be an oil supplier. It's a reserve and so we have to keep that,"
  • Hochstein doesn't expect end of SPR releases to result in oil price spikes.

The record-high release of crude oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve will end as scheduled this fall, the White House's Special Presidential Coordinator for International Energy Affairs Amos Hochstein told Yahoo Finance.

"We can't be an oil supplier. It's a reserve and so we have to keep that," Hochstein said, adding that he did not expect this to lead to price spikes because the oil industry was already preparing to increase production once the SPR release ended.

"There's a little bit of hysteria at the moment in the analysis of oil markets," Hochstein said, adding that he had had conversations with oil companies and had their word they would increase production to replace the oil that is currently coming out of the SPR.

The plan, announced in April, saw a total of 180 million barrels of crude being released from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to counter the inexorable increase in oil prices amid a tight market, at a rate of some 1 million bpd. Some of that oil reportedly ended up getting exported, including to China, which prompted some

When the plan was announced, there were warnings that it could backfire, pushing prices higher instead of lower because the SPR would need to be replenished after this substantial draw.

Currently, oil prices—and gasoline prices in the U.S.—are down, but this has less to do with the SPR release than with worry that the Fed will hike rates again and more sharply, which could in turn lead to a slowdown in economic growth. The supply environment remains tight.

This might change, however, according to Hochstein, who told Yahoo Finance that several oil industry CEOs had assured him that they will be boosting production by a combined 800,000 bpd to 1 million bpd by the end of the year.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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  • Mamdouh Salameh on July 25 2022 said:
    The release of 180 million barrels from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) was a great lesson in futility. The global oil market just ignored them and continued surging ahead.

    The SPR release was rich in symbolism and a real failure when it came to halting the rise of crude oil prices.

    Sooner or later, these barrels will have to be returned to the SPR. The real issue is at what price given the tightness of the market, the robustness of demand and the ever-shrinking global spare production capacity.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Global Energy Expert

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