Venezuelan crisis, by itself, not reason to tap SPR

01/20/2003
The US should not tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in response to disruption of oil imports from Venezuela.The temptation to do so is great. Prices of gasoline and other oil products have risen since strikes, which began Dec. 2, idled much of the Venezuelan oil industry. High-conversion refineries designed for Venezuelan crude are exhausting inventories and seeking feedstock from other sources.SPR oil just sits there, tantalizingly close to some of the refineries that need it most.But there it should stay. This isn't an emergency warranting an SPR drawdown.The market can handle the Venezuelan deficit. It's already doing so. Elevation of oil prices hastens the adjustment.Vital t...
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