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STATEWIDE–President Biden is releasing an average of one million additional barrels on the market each day over the next six months. GasBuddy says that will make prices lower at the gas pump in the short term, but that might not be the case in the long term.

“At a million barrels per day over the next six months, we’re talking 180 million barrels of crude oil which would be an absolute sizable number. My concern is that if we do this, the strategic petroleum reserve is going to be under 400 million barrels at that point. That means it could take anywhere from four to seven years to refill the reserve. We don’t know how long the (Russia-Ukraine situation) is going to last,” said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy.

The biggest question that DeHaan is, ‘How do these reserves get filled back up?”

“We last filled it up considerably back in 2001 when then-President Bush signed an expansion. It took us about five years to put 150 million barrels into strategic reserves. While we may be pushing prices down in the short-term, the long-term may be that a depleted strategic reserve that contains maybe half of its maximum capacity could put us at risk for other conflicts,” said DeHaan.

DeHaan pointed to the growing tension between China and Taiwan as one of those future conflicts that could develop into something worse. As for getting gas in Indiana, DeHaan recommends shopping around and not being in a huge hurry to fill up.

“Americans also need to drive more efficiently. Instead of driving 75 or 85 mph, go 65. Cutting down on your driving time will also help. Make sure you’re not overpaying. When you pay for gasoline, make sure you use loyalty programs which can take a few cents off,” said DeHaan.

GasBuddy says the average price for gas across Indiana is $4.16 per gallon. The cheapest gas in the state is in Hagerstown where it is $3.58.

LISTEN: Full Interview with DeHaan