U.S. looks to buy another 6 million barrels for emergency oil stockpile this year


The U.S. Department of Energy on Friday said it was looking to purchase another 6 million barrels of crude oil for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve as it continues to refill the stockpile following last year’s record drawdown.

The DOE has announced deals to buy 6.3 million barrels of crude for the reserve in recent months, and the new solicitation would bring the total to over 12 million barrels this year.

“This purchase is in continuation of the Biden-Harris Administration’s replenishment plan and is the third solicitation that DOE has issued this year to repurchase oil for the SPR,” the DOE said in a release.

“DOE will pursue additional repurchase opportunities as market conditions allow.”

The DOE is seeking bids on the new solicitation by July 17. The oil would be for delivery to the Big Hill SPR site in Texas in October and November, according to the release.

The administration is slowly buying back oil for the SPR after selling more than 200 million barrels last year, including a record 180-million-barrel sale to fight high oil prices after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The sales pushed levels in the reserve to the lowest since 1983.

While the United States is far less dependent on oil imports than it was in 1983, the low level in the SPR has been a focus of Republicans who say that President Joe Biden, a Democrat, has put energy security at risk.

The administration says it is making money on the sales and repurchases, because it is buying the oil back at a lower price.

The DOE said in its announcement that the average price it paid for the 6.3 million barrels it has agreed to buy so far was $72.67 per barrel – much lower than the average of about $95 per barrel that SPR crude was sold for in 2022.

(Writing by Richard Valdmanis; Editing by Leslie Adler)


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