Trump won’t gamble with US strategic oil stocks despite supply disruption risks

Keeping fuel prices low is a political priority for US President Donald Trump. Just don’t bet on him gambling with America’s emergency oil stocks to achieve a second term in office, at the risk of jeopardizing energy security for the world’s largest economy. Created in the early 1970s, soon after the oil shock caused by OPEC’s disastrous response to the Yom Kippur war, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) remains arguably America’s most important economic buffer. Ironically, the first oil pumped into the giant salt caverns acquired by the US government was shipped from Saudi Arabia. The SPR was created to ensure the US would never again be held hostage by the oil-rich Persian Gulf states, which still wield phenomenal power to influence the price of the world’s most important commodity. The embargo caused oil prices to quintuple. Fuel rationing was imposed, and a 55mph speed limit was introduced to keep consumption in check and avoid an economic catastrophe. Today, the SPR contains almost 650 million barrels of crude, which is enough to meet the nation’s total demand for over a month. Two-thirds of this crude is considered to be of a sour viscous grade, ideal for the majority of US… continue reading

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