On the heels of a developing situation in Saudi Arabia that will have an effect on the world’s oil markets, President Donald Trump announced on Sunday that he would be authorizing use of the United States’ Strategic Petroleum Reserve in order to keep the oil market moving.
According to The Hill, Trump announced the decision to tap the nation’s emergency supply of crude oil in a series of tweets on Sunday. The president, however, didn’t specify the amount of emergency oil that he would allow use of, other than calling it a “to-be-determined” situation.
“Based on the attack on Saudi Arabia, which may have an impact on oil prices, I have authorized the release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, if needed, in a to-be-determined amount sufficient to keep the markets well-supplied. I have also informed all appropriate agencies to expedite approvals of the oil pipelines currently in the permitting process in Texas and various other States,” Trump said in a series of two tweets.
The drone attacks in Saudi Arabia, which crippled about 5 percent of the oil-rich country’s output, were originally claimed by Houthi rebels engaged in fighting with Saudi-backed forces in nearby Libya.
As reported by The Inquisitr, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo added a bombshell to the mix after revealing that he believes Iran was behind the Saudi oil drone attacks. Iranian officials denied involvement.
Shortly after announcing use of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, Trump tweeted of a possible U.S. response once it was confirmed who was behind the attacks and how Saudi Arabia wants the U.S. to proceed.
“There is reason to believe that we know the culprit, are locked and loaded depending on verification, but are waiting to hear from the Kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms we would proceed!” Trump tweeted.
The Strategic Petroleum Reserve was established in the 1970s after the Arab oil embargo that skyrocketed the price of oil. The oil supply is massive in size, claiming the title of the world’s biggest stash of crude oil. It has been tapped a handful of times, including in 2011 after oil supply disruptions in Libya, in 2005 in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and in 1991 during the first Gulf War.
According to Bloomberg, the SPR has also been used as a de facto “piggy bank” by Congress to fund infrastructure projects, the war on drugs, and to make a dent in the deficit. As recent as last week, 10 million barrels of oil from the SPR were sold by the U.S. government.