America’s Oil Price Inflation Crisis is Yet to Come
NIA is very disturbed by President Obama’s decision to sell off oil from the U.S. emergency oil reserve, in an attempt to drive down oil prices. One week ago it was announced that the U.S. and other oil-consuming nations that are a part of the International Energy Agency (IEA) will begin releasing 60 million barrels of oil from their reserves, with 30 million barrels coming from the U.S. government-owned reserve. They hoped that by flooding the market with excess supply, they would cause an artificial forced liquidation of oil futures contract holders who bought using leverage.
The U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve is the world’s largest government-owned stockpile of emergency crude oil reserves and is maintained by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). It holds 727 million barrels of oil reserves at four different sites along the Gulf of Mexico. Considering that the U.S. is releasing 30 million barrels of oil from these reserves, we are reducing the size of our emergency reserve by 4.1%.
After Obama’s decision was announced on June 22nd, crude oil prices originally dipped as much as $5.71 per barrel from $95.41 per barrel down to a low of $89.70 per barrel on June 23rd. Oil prices declined slightly more during the next two trading days, reaching a low this past Monday of $89.61 per barrel and closing Monday at $90.61 per barrel. However, oil prices have surged $4.81 during the past three days and are currently $95.42 per barrel. Oil has recovered the entire dip that came after Obama’s decision was announced and is now a penny higher than before his announcement. Unlike 2008 when most oil futures contract holders were hedge funds using leverage in an attempt to make short-term profits, today most oil investors are much stronger hands who bought with cash, because the world is now flooded with dollars thanks to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.