US Sending Oil Reserves Overseas as Gas Prices at Record Highs

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Despite US gasoline and diesel prices reaching record highs, more than 5 million barrels of oil from the historic US emergency oil reserves release that was intended to reduce domestic fuel costs were transferred to Europe and Asia last month, according to statistics and sources.

President Joe Biden’s initiatives to cut record pump prices are being lessened by the export of petroleum and fuel. On Saturday, Biden reiterated his plea for fuel providers to lower their rates, garnering criticism from Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.

The Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) is discharging almost a million barrels each day through October. The SPR is being depleted by the flow after last month seeing its lowest level since 1986. In one-fifth of the country, the price of gasoline and diesel is above $5 per gallon, while US crude futures are above $105 a barrel. According to US government authorities, oil prices may have increased if the SPR had not been used.

According to US Customs records, Phillips 66, the fourth-largest US oil refiner, moved around 470,000 barrels of sour crude from the Big Hill SPR storage facility in Texas to Trieste, Italy. A pipeline that transports oil to refineries in central Europe is located in Trieste.

The data indicated that the French oil giant TotalEnergies’ subsidiary Atlantic Trading & Marketing (ATMI) shipped two cargoes totaling 560,000 barrels each.

Despite requests for comment, Phillips 66 opted not to. A request for response from ATMI was not answered.

According to a source in the sector, cargoes of SPR crude were also in route to the Netherlands and an Indian Reliance refinery. Another source claimed there was a third shipment going to China.

The most recent exports come after three ships that helped replace Russian oil supply by transporting SPR petroleum to Europe in April.

As refineries operate close to capacity, US crude stockpiles are at their lowest level since 2004. The US Gulf coast’s refineries were operating at 97.9 percent capacity, the highest level in three and a half years.