Washington will tap its Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) ahead of an EU ban on Russian oil
The US Department of Energy has announced plans to sell up to 10 million barrels of oil from its Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) for delivery in November, according to a press statement released on Monday.
The sale will be of oil with low sulphur content from the SPR's sites in Big Hill, Texas and West Hackberry, Louisiana. Contracts will be awarded no later than October 7. The SPR holds oil in heavily guarded former salt caverns along the Gulf of Mexico coast.
The offer extends the timing of the government's plan to sell 180 million barrels from the stockpile to tame fuel costs, and comes at a time when global crude prices are returning to levels seen before the start of Moscow's military operation in Ukraine in late February.
In March, President Joe Biden announced plans for the largest ever release of oil from the nation's strategic reserve, with 180 million barrels to be sold by the end of October.
According to the Department of Energy, just 155 million barrels have been released so far, and the next sale will bring the total to 165 million. There is still no deadline for selling the entire batch.
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"As we look to the future, I think what you're seeing right now is us evaluating the current market dynamics and making sure that our releases align with the needs," a senior administration official told reporters.
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