Oil from US reserves is being sent overseas as gasoline prices remain high

HOUSTON, July 5 (Reuters) – More than 5 million barrels of oil, which was part of a historic US emergency reserve release to slash domestic fuel prices, was exported last month even as US gasoline and to Europe and Asia, according to data and sources exported Diesel prices reach record highs.

Crude oil and fuel exports are cushioning the impact of US President Joe Biden’s efforts to cut pump prices to record levels. Biden on Saturday renewed a call for gas suppliers to lower their prices, drawing criticism from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. Continue reading

About 1 million barrels per day will be released from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) through October. The river is draining the SPR, which fell to its lowest level since 1986 last month. US crude oil futures are above $100 a barrel and gasoline and diesel prices are above $5 a gallon in one-fifth of the nation. US officials have said oil prices could have been higher if the SPR had not been tapped.

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“The SPR remains a critical energy security tool to manage disruptions to the world’s crude oil supply,” said an Energy Department spokesman, adding that the emergency clearances have helped ensure a stable supply of crude oil.

The fourth-largest US oil refiner, Phillips 66 (PSX.N), shipped about 470,000 barrels of sour crude from the Big Hill SPR deposit in Texas to Trieste, Italy, according to US Customs. There is a pipeline in Trieste that sends oil to refineries in Central Europe.

Atlantic Trading & Marketing (ATMI), a subsidiary of French oil company TotalEnergies (TTEF.PA), exported two shipments of 560,000 barrels each, data showed.

Phillips 66 declined to comment on the trading activity. ATMI did not respond to a request for comment.

Cargoes of SPR crude oil were also routed to the Netherlands and to a Reliance (RELI.NS) refinery in India, an industry source said. A third shipment went to China, another source said.

At least one shipment of crude oil from the West Hackberry SPR site in Louisiana was scheduled to be exported in July, a shipping source added.

“Crude oil and fuel prices would probably have been higher if[the SPR releases]hadn’t happened, but at the same time it doesn’t really have the impact that was thought it would have,” said Matt Smith, senior oil analyst at Kpler.

The latest exports follow three ships that transported SPR crude to Europe in April to replace Russian crude stocks. Continue reading

US crude inventories are at their lowest since 2004 as refiners run near peaks. Refineries on the US Gulf Coast were operating at 97.9%, the highest in three and a half years.

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Reporting by Arathy Somasekhar in Houston; Adaptation by Chizu Nomiyama and Sam Holmes

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