Oil declines as Biden faces mounting calls to release crude from US oil reserves

Oil fell as US President Joe Biden faced more calls to tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to tackle surging gasoline prices.

Photo: Angus Mordant/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix

West Texas Intermediate sank 0.8 percent after declining for three weeks, while Brent dropped. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer, a fellow Democrat, urged US President Joe Biden at the weekend to release oil from the nation's emergency reserves, saying consumers needed immediate relief at the gas pump. A top administration aide, Brian Deese, reiterated that "all options are on the table".

The oil market has fixated in recent weeks on a potential release from the reserves after crude hit a seven-year high in October, lifted by a rebound in demand from the impact of the pandemic. A plea by Biden for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies to raise oil supply more quickly was rebuffed, putting the focus on how the US administration may respond. The OPEC+ stance was reaffirmed by Oman, with Energy Minister Mohammed Al-Rumhy saying the grouping was adding enough oil and wouldn't change tack.

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