UPDATE: This piece has been updated to include a statement from the Department of Energy.
Exxon Mobil’s CEO, Darren Woods, warned that the Biden administration’s plan to cut back on fuel exports could reduce global supplies and hike gas prices, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.
Woods told the Department of Energy (DOE) in a letter that oil and gas producers should avoid curbing exports and stockpiling fuel, according to the WSJ which cited a letter sent by Exxon. Exxon claimed that cutting exports would not help the Northeast’s fuel shortages because it would force Gulf Coast refineries to slow their operations, which would reduce fuel supplies and raise gas prices.
“Reducing global supply by limiting U.S. exports to build region-specific inventory will only aggravate the global supply shortfall,” Woods wrote.
However, a DOE spokesperson said portions of the country have fuel stockpiles that are near unacceptable five-year lows during hurricane season, according to the WSJ. President Joe Biden also said that the production of at least 190,000 barrels of oil a day had been impacted by Hurricane Ian during a speech on Wednesday.
“The nation is facing serious risks from hurricanes and in some parts of the country, oil and gas supply levels are unacceptably at or near 5-year lows, a DOE spokesperson told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “As international events also continue to impact domestic energy markets, the administration has impressed upon the oil and gas industry that it must do more to ensure fair prices and adequate supply for all Americans, while meeting the needs of our allies.” [Related: Biden Empties Strategic Petroleum Reserve as Shortages Hit]
U.S. stocks of distillate products like diesel and heating oil have dropped significantly since the beginning of 2021 and are at particularly low levels in New England, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Crude oil stocks also fell by 200,000 barrels and gasoline inventories declined by 2.4 million barrels during the week that ended on Sept. 23, according to EIA data released on Wednesday
Woods claimed that Exxon would be able to address supply disruptions without prompting from the government by moving fuel from its facilities in the Midwest to the Northeast, according to the WSJ.
Biden announced in March that U.S. energy firms would increase liquefied natural gas deliveries to help address Europe’s fuel shortages that are being exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. However, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm in August threatened to use “emergency measures” to compel oil companies to limit exports and address the historically low levels of refined petroleum products in regions like New England.
Prices at the pump began rising again on Sept. 21 after falling for nearly 100 days straight; moreover, the average national gas price on Friday is $0.62 higher than it was in September 2021, according to AAA data.
Exxon did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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