President Biden is set to release almost one-third of the United States' Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), in an effort to curb rising oil and energy prices, which are feeding inflation throughout the US economy.
This is a big deal
This is the biggest drawdown from the SPR in history... and it's not even close.
There have been only a few emergency withdrawals from the SPR since it was established in the 1970s, the biggest of which have been closer to 30 million barrels. This latest withdrawal is set to be 180 million barrels of oil, almost one-third of the 570 million barrels that were available at the last count.
Where is this stuff?
The oil is stored in 60 enormous underground salt caverns across 4 sites in Louisiana and Texas one of which is large enough for Chicago's Willis Tower to fit inside (with room to spare).
Will this work?
Depends who you ask. Some think it's a big enough withdrawal to cover the supply shortage and get prices back to more "normal" levels. Others argue that it's pointless, offering a short-term solution to a more structural problem.