U.S. Department of Energy said last week it plans to purchase an additional 6 million barrels of oil for the nation’s strategic petroleum reserve for delivery in October and November to the Big Hill SPR site in Jefferson County in southeast Texas. It’s the third solicitation issued by DOE this year; DOE purchased 6.3 million barrels in the first two at an average price of $72.67 per barrel. DOE said July 7 that deadline for these bids from companies for U.S.-produced crude oil is July 19 at 10 a.m. CT.
The SPR is the world’s largest supply of emergency crude oil. The federally owned oil stocks are stored in underground salt caverns at four sites in Texas and Louisiana.
CNN reported Wednesday the aim is to recover 180 million barrels of emergency sales through a combination of cancelled future sales and new purchases. CNN said SPR held 346.8 million barrels of oil as of July 7 – the smallest amount since August 1983 and down by 291.3 million barrels since President Biden took office in January 2021. Energy secretary Jennifer Granholm added, “We have by far enough to be able to deal with any emergencies over the next couple of years.”