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Petroleum

USA to Release Oil Reserves to Combat High Prices

24 November 2021

US President Joe Biden on Tuesday will announce the release of emergency oil reserves to combat high energy prices ahead of the busy holiday travel season, but it will be weeks before the barrels hit the market. The release of 50 million barrels of oil -- the largest release from the reserve in US history -- is expected to primarily supply Chinese and Indian oil needs as demands have led to global shortages.

In 2019, US petroleum use averaged approximately 20.5 million barrels of oil per day and in 2020 the US used on average about 18.1 million barrels per day, according to the Department of Energy's Energy Information Administration. The EIA reports petroleum usage was lower in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The barrels of oil involved in Tuesday's announcement will not hit the market until "mid to late December, depending on market take up," according to a senior administration official. As of Friday, there were 604.5 million barrels of oil in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, according to the Department of Energy.

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