Oil Prices Drop as US Announces SPR Sale, IEA Reports $4 Trillion Profits

On Tuesday, prices of oil decreased following the US’s declaration to release more supply from its Strategic Petroleum Reserve, intensifying the already-unstable trends in supply and demand in the international market.[0] Last year, the Biden administration sold a massive 180 million barrels from the SPR after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine disrupted supply and pushed crude oil prices past $100 a barrel, drawing the SPR to its lowest level since 1983.[1]

The US Department of Energy (DOE) said on Monday that it would sell 26 million barrels of oil from the SPR, a release that would likely push the reserve to its lowest level since 1983.[2] In response to the West’s imposition of price caps, Russia declared last week that they would be decreasing their oil production by 500,000 barrels per day starting in March; this announcement came shortly before the SPR release news.[3]

After Monday’s close, losses in oil prices were extended due to the US’s announcement that it was selling more crude from its strategic reserves. Furthermore, the higher-than-expected inflation figure further exacerbated the pressure.[4] Ahead of the release of important US inflation figures on Tuesday, crude has gone down. These figures will have a significant impact on how far the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates in order to contain inflation that is too high.[5]

The International Energy Agency (IEA) reported that, due to the increased demand for oil, the profits of the global oil and gas industry rose to an astounding $4 trillion in 2022, a dramatic increase from the average of $1.5 trillion in recent years. This was reported by the head of the IEA, Fatih Birol.[6]

Oil and gas industry earnings remain high, but the Biden administration’s SPR sale could push prices further down and leave the market vulnerable if other factors such as rising inflation, bond market selloff and a potential recession create a perfect storm of turbulence in the market.

0. “Oil prices slide as the US says it will sell millions more barrels of oil from its strategic reserve into the” Business Insider India, 14 Feb. 2023, https://www.businessinsider.in/stock-market/news/oil-prices-slide-as-the-us-says-it-will-sell-millions-more-barrels-of-oil-from-its-strategic-reserve-into-the-global-market/articleshow/97928450.cms

1. “U.S. to sell 26 million more barrels from strategic oil reserve” Tyler Morning Telegraph, 14 Feb. 2023, https://tylerpaper.com/u-s-to-sell-26-million-more-barrels-from-strategic-oil-reserve/article_df058aae-ac0a-11ed-893e-6f5c4c2a40e0.html

2. “Oil settles 1per cent lower as market braces for more supply from US reserve” TODAY, 14 Feb. 2023, https://www.todayonline.com/world/oil-prices-dip-us-crude-reserve-release-inflation-pressure-2107446

3. “Oil traders hit ‘sell button’ with U.S. set to release more crude from its Strategic Petroleum Reserve” MarketWatch, 14 Feb. 2023, https://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-falls-as-u-s-releases-more-crude-from-strategic-petroleum-reserve-7352872d

4. “Oil Extends Drop on Large Stockpile Build and Inflation Concerns” Financial Post, 15 Feb. 2023, https://financialpost.com/pmn/business-pmn/oil-extends-drop-on-large-stockpile-build-and-inflation-concerns

5. “Oil eases on US plan to sell more crude from strategic reserve” Energy Voice, 14 Feb. 2023, https://www.energyvoice.com/oilandgas/482689/oil-eases-on-us-plan-to-sell-more-crude-from-strategic-reserve/

6. “Oil Trading Daily: Oil Drops after U.S. Release of Barrels” TipRanks, 14 Feb. 2023, https://www.tipranks.com/news/oil-trading-daily-oil-drops-after-u-s-release-of-barrels