Obama administration officials met with Crude Oil market experts Thursday as the White House considers the merits of another release of emergency Crude Oil reserves, potentially one much larger than the last.
The meeting, originally scheduled for August but delayed by Summer vacations, did not center entirely on the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), according to non-government sources who attended the meeting.
Government officials did not reveal any plans they may be making to tap the SPR, but they did voice concern about tightening US fuel supply and sounded out the experts on how energy prices could behave in the coming few months under different scenarios, sources said.
The meeting was still read by some as a sign that Obama is intent on pressing ahead with an unprecedented 2nd tapping of US government oil supplies.
UK-based oil consultancy Petroleum Policy Intelligence issued a report this week saying that an injection of SPR supplies could occur "within days," but people who attended the meeting said it would not happen that soon.
"They are still in information-collection mode," said one.
The benchmark Brent Crude Oil futures pushing back above 110 bbl and threatening to restrain the economies of the United States and Western Europe, that said it has been clear for weeks that the White House is looking to the SPR for relief.
Tapping SPR Crude Oil reserves now would do little to solve a problem of falling US gasoline supplies, which last week dipped below 200-M bbls, or around 10-M bbls lower than the same week in Y 2011.
US refineries might not quickly ramp up making gasoline even if more Crude Oil were offered from the SPR, he said.
Other ideas beyond tapping reserves were discussed. One being to give drivers a holiday from the federal fuel taxes, which could push gasoline dramatically lower for a while.
In Y 2008 Senator John McCain, who was then running against Obama for the presidency, suggested a suspension of the federal gasoline tax for the summer months, but the idea faded.
Paul A. Ebeling, Jnr.
Paul A. Ebeling, Jnr. writes and publishes The Red Roadmaster's Technical Report on the US Major Market Indices, a weekly, highly-regarded financial market letter, read by opinion makers, business leaders and organizations around the world.
Paul A. Ebeling, Jnr has studied the global financial and stock markets since 1984, following a successful business career that included investment banking, and market and business analysis. He is a specialist in equities/commodities, and an accomplished chart reader who advises technicians with regard to Major Indices Resistance/Support Levels.
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