AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Drivers on the High Plains could see lower gas prices in the next few months after President Biden announced more releases from the strategic petroleum reserve this week.
On Wednesday, Biden announced his administration’s latest push to lower gas prices, with the release of 15 million barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR).
The White House said that sale completes the 180 million-barrel release Biden authorized back in March.
“If we’re looking at the strategic reserve right now, we’re the lowest that we’ve been since 1984,” said Judy Stark, the president of the Panhandle Producers & Royalty Owners Assn. “There’s about 400 million barrels in it right now. It’s been as high as 726 million barrels.”
Stark said right now, the U.S. is consuming more oil and gas than it produces, so the release from the SPR might not have much of an effect on consumers.
“Ultimately, I don’t think the average consumer probably saves, it probably saves less than $1 or $2 for an entire month, if gasoline prices are lower,” Stark said.
However, AAA said in a release on Thursday that gas prices are dropping as SPR releases continue and drivers in Texas are paying the second-lowest gas prices on average in the country.
“But it’s still expensive to people,” Stark said. “So, the only time you’ll see a significant decrease in the price of gasoline is when oil the oil price goes down and that’s only when the supply is more abundant. So it’s really a supply and demand issue.”
The White House said gas prices have fallen in recent weeks, with the most common price across the U.S. at $3.39/gallon on Tuesday.
On Thursday, AAA said Amarillo drivers were paying $3.30/gallon on average.
The White House also said it will look to restock the SPR when crude oil prices are at or below $67 to $72 per barrel.