Posts on social media are spreading the baseless claim that the ruler of Qatar has “threatened that if the bombing of Gaza does not stop, he will cut off the supply of gas to the world.” The country’s government gets most of its revenue from energy exports, and there’s no record of Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani making such a threat.
Q: Is the Biden administration selling crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to other countries?
A: The oil is sold to eligible companies that make the highest offers. Some of the companies are U.S. subsidiaries of foreign companies, and some that purchased oil have then exported a portion to buyers overseas. Exports increase the global supply and still help with U.S. gas prices, experts told us.
A supply and demand imbalance, exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, led to a surge in gasoline prices. But an online statement attributed to a supposed “BP Oil Executive” blames gasoline prices on U.S. dependence on foreign oil. BP told us the statement did not come from anyone at the company.
The U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve was set up in the 1970s as an emergency source of oil in the event of unexpected supply disruptions. When Donald Trump took office as president in January 2017, the reserve held 695.1 million barrels of crude oil. The last full week before he left office in January 2021, it held 638.1 million barrels, or about 8% less.