Hess CEO: Petroleum Reserve Releases Should Double, Quadruple to Aid Markets

HOUSTON (Reuters) — Energy consuming nations should release more crude oil from their strategic reserves to bring down the skyrocketing price of petroleum products, the CEO of Hess Corp. said.

Oil prices jumped as high as $137 a barrel early in the day, up from about $79 per barrel at the end of 2021 as sanctions on Russia vessels and buyers rejecting Russian oil worsened supply shortages.

"This is an emergency, it’s time the IEA (International Energy Agency) and U.S. release 120 million out of the strategic reserves and commit to doing another 120 million barrels," Hess CEO John Hess said.

The 60 MMbbl release announced by the United States last month "was too little," Hess said during a panel at the CERAWeek by S&P Global energy conference on Monday.

The Biden administration needs an urgent plan to ease supply concerns, he said.

"If you are spending trillions of dollars, you have to have a master plan,"​ Hess said.

The chief executive of Malaysia's state energy firm, Petronas, called the huge increase in crude prices "absolute bedlam" while addressing the same group, adding, "there are no fundamentals driving it."

Petronas CEO Tengku Muhammad Taufik Tengku Aziz warned that expectations for spare oil production capacity that could quickly be brought onto the market are "almost a mirage."

He addressed the lack of investments that led to shortages of supply, with the industry "beat up" by bankers avoiding oil financing.

"You need to shepherd us not beat us into submission," Tengku Muhammad said, referring to bankers and saying oil and gas producers are "part of the solution."

Exxon Mobil Corp.’s CEO, Darren Woods, called for policies to raise oil production and meet the world's energy needs, while producing energy with lower carbon emissions than before.

"I think there's a lot of room for us to talk," Woods said. "What we're seeing playing out now, in Ukraine, Russia, just complicates it even further."

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