UH expert says Biden's release of 15M barrels of oil reserve won't make a difference at the pump

Chaz Miller Image
Friday, October 21, 2022
UH expert: Release of 15M barrels of oil reserve won't make difference
Are lower gas prices on the horizon? One expert doesn't think so. So what exactly does the release of millions of oil barrels mean?

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Dr. Praveen Kumar from the University of Houston says President Joe Biden's announcement of 15 million barrels of oil from United States' reserves won't have an impact on prices at the pump.

He said that's the case because the energy industry already knew these additional barrels were coming, as they were part of the 180 million barrels Biden previously announced would be released over the course of the year.

SEE ALSO: President Biden announces release of 15 million barrels from oil reserve

"It was already announced, it was already factored in by the oil markets," Kumar said. "Believe me, oil traders definitely pay attention to these things, and they factor this in. This is why I don't think it's going to have any downward effects on gas prices."

A gallon of regular unleaded gas in Texas is currently $3.26 per gallon, and $3.20 per gallon in the Houston metropolitan area.

The national average is $3.84 per gallon, and all of those prices are higher than they were in September.

Kumar said that's the result of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) cutting production as a result of lower demand.

SEE ALSO: The OPEC+ oil cut will impact US gas prices. Here's how.

"(Less demand) is what led to that dip in September. But then, OPEC responded to that by announcing their production cut," he explained. "That's why the gas prices started going up."

Kumar said the United States has become more reliant on OPEC of late, as oil production in America has dropped off significantly as a result of COVID-induced supply change challenges.

He said OPEC could cut more production, which would ultimately keep gas pushing $4 per gallon in the coming months.

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