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U.S. Says All Options ‘on The Table’ To Tackle Energy Crunch

Oct 7 (Reuters)

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) on Thursday said all “tools are always on the table” to tackle tight energy supply conditions in the market.

The department made the comment amid questions about whether the Biden administration is considering tapping into its strategic petroleum reserves (SPR) or pursuing a ban on oil exports to bring down the cost of crude oil.

Oil prices have climbed to over $80 a barrel due to a recovery in global energy demand since the depths of the coronavirus pandemic, and production restrictions by the OPEC producer group.

“DOE is actively monitoring global energy market supply and will work with our agency partners to determine if and when actions are needed,” a spokesperson said.

The Financial Times on Wednesday quoted U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm as saying that the administration is considering tapping the SPR, while also not ruling out a ban on crude oil exports.

Oil prices turned positive on Thursday, however, after a Bloomberg reporter said in a Twitter post that the DOE is not considering tapping into its emergency reserves “at this time,” nor pursuing a ban on oil exports.

A DOE source said the tweet “is not accurate.”

The United States has used its strategic reserves on occasion, usually after hurricanes or other supply disruptions.

Since ending a 40-year ban on crude exports in 2015, the nation has become a significant exporter, and has not broached cutting exports. (Reporting by Arpan Varghese and Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru, and Timothy Gardner in Washington; Editing by Bill Berkrot)

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