Well, so far, the simple answer to the question posed in the headline is “no.”
On Tuesday, the White House announced the Department of Energy will “make available releases of 50 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to lower prices for Americans and address the mismatch between demand exiting the pandemic and supply.”
Talk of a strategic reserve release did have a calming effect on markets in previous weeks. However, when it came to it 50 million, was too little and over too long a time frame to have any impact.
Prices actually rose, with the international benchmark Brent settling up 3.3% at $82.31 a barrel on Tuesday, the Financial Times reported.
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Oil reserve delay
In part, the aforementioned result is due to not just the limited size of the release — made in concert with the U.K., India, South Korea and China — but the delay.
About 32 million barrels will be delivered between mid-December and the end of April 2022 in a swap with oil companies, which then must return an equivalent volume by 2024. The other 18 million barrels accelerate sales that Congress had already authorized, and so have no net impact.