The Strategic Petroleum Reserve, the stockpile of crude oil maintained by the US Department of Energy and meant for use in emergencies, has dipped to levels unseen since 1985, new data has indicated.

Iran PressAmerica: According to the figures, which list the current inventory as of June 24, 2022, the SPR has a total of about 497.9 million barrels of oil (bbl), 234.43 million bbl of sweet, and 263.5 million bbl sour. Data shows that reserves have dropped every consecutive month over six months, by 5.4, 9.4, and 13.4 million bbls in January, February, and March, and 18.4, 24.1, and 25.2 million bbl in April, May, and June, respectively.

According to US Energy Information Administration records, the last time the SPR dipped below 500 million barrels was in 1985.

The SPR, held mostly at massive oil storage facilities in Texas and Louisiana, was created in 1975, following the 1973 OPEC oil embargo targeting nations that supported Israel in the Yom Kippur War against Egypt and Syria. The president has the right to release reserves from the SPR if a "severe energy supply interruption" that threatens the economy or US national security is deemed to have occurred.

In January, the Biden administration released 13 million bbl from the reserve, and in March, citing the energy emergency, the president announced a plan to release 1 million bbl per day for six months, meaning reserves could fall to 400 million bbl, their lowest level since 1983, with the hope being that domestic crude producers will ramp up production and thus reduce prices.

Joe Biden has rejected all efforts to fault him and his administration for the surging gas prices walloping Americans’ wallets, alternating between blaming oil companies and calling the crisis “Putin’s price hike.”

Democrats have expressed growing concerns about the impact high gas prices could have on their prospects in the November midterm elections, during which all 435 seats of the House of Representatives, 35 of 100 seats in the Senate and a host of state and local offices will up for grabs.

An ABC News/IPSOS poll conducted earlier this month found that Americans consider the economy, inflation, and gas prices their top concerns, with approval for Biden’s handling of inflation and gas prices standing at just 28 and 27 percent, respectively.