What could happen if SPR is released in non-emergency

This year, U.S. crude oil futures have climbed by more than 10 percent, prompting the Trump administration to consider releasing crude from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). That doesn’t translate to us paying less at the pump because U.S. oil production already high.

U.S. Energy Information Administration data shows that Gulf Coast exports of crude oil and products hit an all-time record in April 2018, when the region exported more than six million barrels per day.

University of Houston Energy Fellow Ed Hirs said markets around the globe directly impact the price of crude in the US. The challenge is the US will remain a net importer of crude oil.

"Even though our production is very high, we are not completely self-sufficent. We still rely on about seven million barrels a day of crude oil coming into the US to satisfy our needs," said Hirs.

He said the impact, if any, will be very temporary at the pump.

"Even with crude at $60 to $70 a barrel, this is much less than when the US topped off their Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) in 2008, 2009," said Hirs.

He said that's when prices had risen quite significantly before bouncing around a bit.

History of SPR releases.

The Department of Energy reports the SPR is made up of four storage sites along the Texas and Louisiana coast.

The reserve, which contains roughly 660 million barrels of sweet and sour crude, and can be tapped in emergencies and non-emergencies, as well as exchanges and agreements.

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