The Biden administration is planning to release another 10 million to 15 million barrels of oil from the nation’s emergency stockpile in an effort to balance markets and prevent additional increases in gasoline prices.
The release of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve would be the latest portion of a 180-million-barrel program that started earlier this year, Bloomberg reported.
The administration is also expected to provide details this week regarding its plans to restock the emergency oil stockpile. The Energy Department announced in the spring it was planning a new method of buybacks to permit a "competitive, fixed-price" bid process that would potentially lock prices in prior to crude being delivered.
Temporary limits on exports of fuel so more gasoline and diesel will remain in the U.S. is also being considered by the administration. No timeline has been set for a decision on that step, but it will likely not happen before next month's midterm elections.
According to data first compiled in 1982, the U.S. has the lowest seasonal inventories of diesel.
The suggestion to limit exports has led to disagreements within the administration. Biden energy adviser Amos Hochstein supports new export controls while Deputy Energy Secretary David Turk has outlined concerns.
Energy Department and White House officials have been quietly meeting this week with Exxon Mobil Corp., ConocoPhillips and other oil companies to inform them of what they can expect and to urge them to encourage the production of gasoline and diesel, according to Bloomberg.
Oil industry representatives and third-party energy analysts have said limiting fuel exports could result in higher prices in some areas of the country, particularly in the Northeast, which relies on imports.
The White House has been attempting to curb rising gas prices and bolster low domestic stockpiles of fuel for the winter season while also responding to the OPEC+ coalition’s decision earlier this month to cut production.