Publications: Notes at the Margin

Russia, Edward J. Snowden, and US Strategic Stocks: Time to Unload Surplus SPR Inventories? (August 12, 2013)


Over the past few weeks, Russian president Putin and US president Obama have been sniping at each other over NSA information leaker Edward Snowden, Syria, and other topics. If the dispute escalates, the US could take a step that would impose great economic pain on Russia. Specifically, the US DOE could announce its intention to sell surplus oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Should this happen, world crude oil prices might decline $20 or $30 per barrel.


This issue of Notes at the Margin discusses the details of how crude sales from the SPR might be done, the reasons for taking this action, and the potential implications for oil markets. It also examines recent oil market disruptions, the possible future of oil prices, and the latest development in the story of renewable identification numbers (RINs).


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