The Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) is at its lowest level since 198. This is after U.S. gasoline prices and oil prices ticked up again according to federal data.
The SPR is an emergency stockpile of crude oil controlled by the Department of Energy (DOE). In the last year, the levels of oil in the stockpile have declined by 375.1 million barrels. This is the first time that there are less than 378 million barrels in the stockpile since December 1983, according to the Energy Information Administration. On Dec. 30, 1983, the previous record was hit at 378.3 million barrels.
At the same time, the average pump price nationwide continued to go up for the second day in a row. As of Wednesday, the price per gallon climbed to $3.13 per gallon according to a AAA database. The West Texas Intermediate index, the U.S. oil benchmark, also increased by 1 percent, which brought the price of a barrel above $80 per barrel. The Brent crude index, the top global oil benchmark, also saw a 2 percent increase bringing the price per barrel above $85.50.
In an effort to stop the increase in gas and oil prices, President Biden first ordered oil to be released from the SPR on Nov. 23, 2021. This was an attempt at moderating the price of oil. In March, Biden announced the release of another 30 million barrels followed by a 180-million-barrel release after Russia invaded Ukraine causing disruptions to the global energy market.