Oil prices hit 9-month high amid supply concerns
The Biden administration released oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve last year to fight gasoline price increases, but the stockpile is greatly drained.
Oil prices reached a nine-month high amid concerns about tight oil supplies after Russia and Saudi Arabia extended supply cuts.
Brent futures, a global benchmark to measure oil prices, rose to $91.01 a barrel on Friday, according to MarketWatch, and sits at $90.44 a barrel as of Sunday morning.
Prices had already surged last week after Riyadh and Moscow agreed to extend supply cuts beyond October. The U.S. banned Russian oil imports last year, but Russia and Saudi Arabia respectively produced 11% and 12% of the world's oil last year, according to the Energy Department, so any changes in production are likely to affect global oil prices.
Americans are already seeing rising prices at the pump. The current average national price for a gallon of regular gasoline sits at $3.83 as of Sunday morning, according to AAA. That is slightly higher than a week ago when prices were $3.81 a gallon.
In addition to the international supply cuts, AAA spokesperson Andrew Gross said that "hurricane season and its threats to Gulf Coast oil and gas production and refining" are also playing a role in increased prices.
The Biden administration released oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve last year to fight gasoline price increases, but the stockpile currently sits at about 350 million barrels, which is far below the 637 million barrels in the reserve when President Joe Biden took office in January 2021. At that time, Brent futures were at approximately $55 a barrel.
While the Energy Department said earlier this year it would start refilling the reserve, a report last month stated that the administration canceled an offer to purchase 6 million barrels of oil to replenish the stockpile.