Biden might be tapping into the reserves, but it isn't the be-all-end-all for high gas prices that U.S. drivers currently face.
Biden is tapping into oil reserves to bring down prices.
In an announcement, the White House wrote, "The Department of Energy will make available releases of 50 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to lower prices for Americans and address the mismatch between demand exiting the pandemic and supply."
Where are Biden's oil reserves going?
The White House announcement occurred alongside others from countries like China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and the U.K. The partnership between the U.S. and these nations will likely involve various exports on America's behalf.
In July 2022, it was revealed that Biden, in an emergency reserve release, sent out 5 million barrels of oil to Europe and Asia. This move comes after his earlier pleas for gas stations to lower their prices — a move that Jeff Bezos slammed him for.
How many barrels of reserved oil is Biden pulling per day?
Biden has been tapping into oil reserves for several weeks, although the information just became public. The White House says that since the process started, oil prices have decreased about 10 percent. Bloomberg Energy reports a decrease of 0.22 percent over the last 24 hours.
Meanwhile, the U.S. will continue to take 32 million barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in the coming months, which the government plans to replenish over the next several years. The U.S. will take another 18 million barrels during that time in a deal that Congress previously authorized, which amounts to a total of 50 billion barrels. In March, it was reported that Biden is releasing at least 1 million barrels of oil per day.
The White House has only publicized the distribution timeframe as "several months," and the exact amount of time that the reserve pull takes will likely shift. If referencing a potential six-month timeframe, the daily amount of barrels used would be more than 277,000. This is just an estimate, but it shows the potential rapidity of the process.
How much oil does the U.S. keep in reserve?
The U.S. uses a reported 20 million barrels of oil per day, which means the 50 million barrels coming from the reserve wouldn't last that long on their own. As a result, the effort is a multi-nation initiative. This sort of partnership is rare in the global context, but it shows the impact of inflation and a confused COVID-19 pandemic-era supply chain.
The Strategic Petroleum Reserve holds about 605 million barrels of oil at any given time. The U.S. likes to stockpile oil in case of natural disasters, national security concerns, and even limited supply. The reserve is located in subterranean salt caverns in Texas and Louisiana. The reserve has been around since the 1970s Arab oil embargo. Currently, the U.S. exports far more oil than it imports.