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Trump Keeps U.S. Oil Reserve in Back Pocket as Pump Prices Climb

  • Analysts disagree about tapping 660-million-barrel stockpile
  • A late-summer release could help offset lost Iranian barrels
The Chevron Corp. Permian Trove Is Changing U.S. Shale
Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

If U.S. President Donald Trump wants to lower pump prices, he doesn’t have to rely on OPEC. He has a 660-million-barrel emergency oil stockpile at his disposal.

Releasing some of that crude in September or October could dampen gasoline prices ahead of November mid-term elections. Trump could also use it as a tool to persuade buyers of Iranian oil to halt their purchases in the run-up to Nov. 4, when U.S. sanctions against the Islamic Republic are due to snap back.