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The OPEC+ group is not concerned about a possible release from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), according to Oman's Energy Minister Mohammed Al-Rumhi cited by FXStreet.
U.S. President Joe Biden is considering a possible release from the strategic American crude stockpiles as a way to bring down high gasoline prices. No decision has been made yet amid debates within the Administration, but calls for a release from the SPR have become louder in recent days.
As of Friday, the Biden Administration was not decided whether the U.S. should act now to try to reduce the highest gasoline prices in America in seven years or to wait for the market to run its course. Some officials at the U.S. Department of Energy are reportedly against an SPR release, while some White House aides part of the talks favor a release and even the "nuclear option" of a crude oil export ban, sources with knowledge of the ongoing debates told Bloomberg on Friday.
On Sunday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer called on the Biden Administration to tap the strategic reserve.
"We're here today because we need immediate relief at the gas pump and the place to look is the Strategic Petroleum Reserve," Democrat Schumer said at a news conference in New York, as carried by Reuters.
The U.S. Administration and the Democrats are increasingly concerned about the impact of the highest gasoline prices in seven years on American households and their purchasing power.
As of November 15, the national average price of a gallon of regular gasoline stood at $3.415, according to AAA estimates.
Analysts say that a release from the SPR would only have a short-term effect on supply in the U.S. and no major effect on the global market.
Yet, talk of a potential SPR release and the growing pressure on President Biden to address high gasoline prices weighed on international crude oil prices early on Monday, with both benchmarks down by 1.3 percent and WTI Crude trading below $80 at $79.73.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.