The Trump administration plans to tap into the strategic oil reserves of the United States to mitigate the impact on prices of new sanctions against Venezuela, government sources said on Tuesday.
“No decision has yet been taken”, he was said.
The government imposed Monday sanctions against the Venezuelan oil company PDVSA in order to pressure President Nicholas Maduro.
Underlying strategic reserves on the Louisiana and Texas coasts currently contain 649.1 million barrels of crude oil.
Using it is not imminent, but the role of the reserves is to be taken into account when the administration questions the balance of the world market since it stores more crude than is required under international agreements. , the source said.
The law allows the Energy Department to sell up to five million barrels to refiners if necessary and the President may also decide to tap into reserves in response to supply disruptions.
But US stocks include little heavy oil such as that provided by Venezuela, a member of OPEC.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin assured Monday that supply levels were sufficient to prevent any major impact on gas prices in the short term.
Dan Brouillette, deputy energy secretary, said his ministry was not worried about supplying the market despite the decline in Venezuelan oil imports. “Over the next few years, the global supply of crude should exceed demand, and US production is expected to reach a record high of 12 million barrels a day,” he wrote on Twitter.
The announcement of sanctions against Venezuela pushed crude oil prices up by more than 2 percent in the Nymex market in New York on Tuesday.