President Joe Biden is expected to announce the United States will release more oil reserves, according to sources, as fuel prices rise following OPEC's announcement it will cut production by 2 million barrels a day. Photo by Chris Kleponis/UPI | License Photo
Oct. 18 (UPI) -- The Biden administration is expected to again tap into U.S. oil reserves to tame rising gas prices, just weeks before midterm elections and following recent OPEC+ production cuts, according to reports on Tuesday.
President Joe Biden is expected to announce, in the next few days, that the United States will release between 10 million and 15 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, Bloomberg reported Tuesday, citing people familiar with the decision.
The announcement could come even earlier, with Biden scheduled to speak about gas prices on Wednesday, according to a tweet from White House Chief of Staff Ronald Klain.
The administration's plan to tap into the country's Strategic Petroleum Reserve is part of an overall strategy, announced in March, to release 180 million barrels over six months to tame soaring energy prices following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. There are about 15 million barrels remaining in the original release authorized by the administration.
The White House is also considering a separate release, according to two sources familiar with the matter. "It's on the table, but they haven't made a go or no-go decision," one of the people said.
While the administration also contemplates refilling the reserve, the Department of Energy is considering limiting fuel exports. A release from the Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve, which holds about a 1 million barrels of heating oil in New England, is also on the table.
In July, Biden ordered an extra 1 million barrels of oil a day released from SPR after gas prices climbed above $4 per gallon.
Gas prices shot up again earlier this month, as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies announced it would trim its production quotas for October by 2 million barrels per day, starting in November.
OPEC+ made the move to provide "security and stability to the energy markets," according to OPEC Secretary-General Haitham Al Ghais.
Biden called the group's decision unnecessary as the administration met with oil company executives to lower fuel prices ahead of next month's midterm elections.
On Tuesday, the national average gas price was $3.87 for a gallon of regular, according to AAA.
"The price of gas is still too high, and we need to keep working to bring it down," Biden said last week at an event in Los Angeles, as he alluded to more action in the coming days.