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5 Million Barrels of Oil Biden Released from Strategic Reserves in June Went to Foreign Countries, Not Americans

By Craig Bannister | July 6, 2022 | 11:35am EDT
(Getty Images/Bauer-Griffin)

President Joe Biden claims that his release of oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserves (SPR) is helping reduce the price at the pump in America, but more than five million barrels of the oil released from the reserve went to foreign countries, Reuters reported Tuesday.

"More than 5 million barrels of oil that were part of a historic U.S. emergency oil reserves release aimed at lowering domestic fuel prices were exported to Europe and Asia last month, according to data and sources, even as U.S. gasoline and diesel prices touched record highs," Reuters reports.

“Together, these releases will put more than one million barrels per day on the market over the next six months, and will help address supply disruptions caused by Putin’s further invasion of Ukraine and the Price Hike that Americans are facing at the pump,” Biden promised in April, announcing the release of more than a million barrels a day over the next six months from the Strategic Reserve.

But, over five million barrels from the reserve were exported to Europe and Asia in June, despite record prices at the pump in the U.S., Reuters reports, noting the following details:

  • Phillips 66 shipped about 470,000 barrels of sour crude from Texas to Trieste, Italy,
  • Atlantic Trading & Marketing (ATMI), an arm of French oil major TotalEnergies (TTEF.PA), exported 2 cargoes of 560,000 barrels each,
  • Cargos of oil were also sent to the Netherlands, India and China, with more shipments scheduled for July,
  • Strategic Petroleum Reserves fell to the lowest since 1986 in June.

Last month, Reuters reported that “at least three vessels carrying crude oil from U.S. emergency stockpiles sailed for Europe in April as refiners there scrambled to replace Russian crude supplies, according to U.S. Customs data, ship tracking, and an industry source.”

“The president faces accusations of a sneaky sleight of hand as it was revealed that between a fifth and a sixth of the reserve oil he bragged about releasing to boost supply made its way offshore to Europe and Asia in June,” The Daily Mail reports.

As The Daily Mail notes, when Pres. Biden announced he would begin releasing strategic reserve oil for “sale,” he meant it would be sold to the highest bidder to do whatever it choses with it:

“[T]he oil released from the strategic reserve was always destined for the highest bidder - even if they were overseas.

“That is due to strict international rules dictating the sale and supply of oil - although a regular American who listened to Biden's proclamation in passing would likely have believed that the increase in supply would have been destined for domestic refineries, to lower US prices.”

Indeed, as the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) explains, “DOE sells SPR oil in a competitive auction to the highest bidder” via a public sale.

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