US issues formal notice of record sale of oil from reserve

The US Department of Energy formally outlined a sale of oil from emergency reserves on Friday (April 1), a day after President Joe Biden announced the largest release ever in an attempt to push down fuel prices that have soared during Russia’s war with Ukraine.

Up to 1 million barrels of oil a day will be sold from the strategic petroleum reserve for six months starting in May. Biden said that the release, the third in the last six months, will act as a bridge until domestic producers can increase production and gain access to balance with demand.

Last month, Biden banned imports from the United States from Russia, which produces about 10 percent of the world’s oil.

The first 90 million barrels of SPR oil will be sold between May and July, including 20 million barrels that were already scheduled to hit the market in May. The additional 90 million barrels will be released between August and October, the energy ministry said.

SPR, which currently holds approximately 568.3 million barrels, the lowest since about May 2002, is held at four locations along coastal Texas and Louisiana. Up to 38.5 million barrels will be sold through July from the two plants in Texas, and up to 31.5 million barrels will be sold from the two plants in Louisiana, the department said.

The proceeds from the sale will be used to replenish the reserve at a later date, the White House has said.

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