More worryingly, the US is depleting its cache a lot faster than it looks, given current price variability scenario that petroleum has due to the Ukraine conflict.
Energy specialist Javier Blas, a columnist for the US financial advisory company Bloomberg, warned that despite its attempt to keep energy market costs, Washington will not be able to use its SPR in a sustained manner.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) earlier this week warned that global oil supply may struggle to keep pace with demand next year. The SPR may be the final cushion late this year and in 2023 to put a lid on oil prices – and global inflation.
Blas said not all crude oil available in the SPR has the same quality or the same refining facility, so in his opinion the world cannot trust these oil supplies to keep the market under control and downward quotes.
Washington has already sold about 115 million barrels from its reservoirs, volumes that reached record numbers of almost one million barrels per day since the middle of last May, Bloomberg said.
Over the past year, the White House has sold almost 115 million barrels from its hoard, with the releases surging to a record high of nearly one million barrels per day since mid-May.
If Washington sticks to its current pace, the reserve will shrink to a 40-year low of 358 million barrels by the end of October, when the releases are due to stop.