Oil prices surge and Trump says he has ordered use of emergency supplies

Posted Sunday, 15 September 2019 ‐ CNN

New York (CNN Business)As oil prices surged Sunday, President Donald Trump said he was authorizing the use of oil from the country's emergency reserve after Saturday's attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities disrupted the global supply of crude.Trump, in a series of tweets, said that he had ordered that oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, or SPR, be used "if needed." He said he would use enough oil "sufficient to keep the markets well-supplied."Trump said he would take other steps to calm markets. "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," he added.The news came as oil prices soared on Sunday evening. US crude futures were up 15%, while gasoline futures were up 11%, according to market data source Refinitiv. Brent crude, the benchmark used in European oil markets, was up 18%.The SPR contains 645 million barrels — the world's largest backup oil supply. It was established by Congress after the oil shocks following the OPEC oil embargo in the 1970s. It has been drawn on only three times, most recently in June 2011 when civil unrest in Libya unsettled global oil exports. The US government, worried that supply disruptions would threaten a fragile global economy still recovering from the Great Recession, ordered the sale of 30 million barrels. It was also deployed in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina devastated the nation's oil infrastructure along the Gulf of Mexico. Its first use was in 1991 when the United States attacked Iraq in Operation Desert Storm.The reserve is a complex of four sites along the Texas and Louisiana gulf coasts that have deep underground storage caverns, 2,000 to 4,000 feet below the surface.

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