Biden Pitches Plan to Refill Oil Reserves, but Producers Are Skeptical

U.S. companies are wary of boosting output even though the government is offering to buy oil at fixed prices

President Biden said Wednesday the Energy Department will go ahead with sales of the last 15 million of 180 million barrels from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve he had authorized for sale in March. The move comes as part of a plan to reduce gas prices at the pump. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

After releasing the most oil ever from the U.S. emergency petroleum reserve, the Biden administration is signaling it will refill soon, a multibillion-dollar undertaking that it hopes will rouse sluggish domestic drilling activity.

The pitch is likely to be a hard sell for many domestic producers, say industry executives and analysts. “It’s a little bit more [complex] than this,” said Olivier Le Peuch, chief executive of oil-field services company Schlumberger Ltd.

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