U.S. Department of Energy said Monday it will purchase up to three million barrels of sour crude oil for delivery in August to the Big Hill strategic petroleum reserve in southeast Texas. The SPR management office in New Orleans said proposals will be accepted by email before May 31 at 10 a.m. CDT for “sour crude oil produced in the United States by United States producers.” The DOE announcement said notification of awards will be June 9.
The administration of President Joe Biden last year conducted the largest sale ever from the SPR of 180 million barrels, according to Reuters, “part of a strategy to stabilize soaring oil markets and combat high pump prices in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.” The sales brought the SPR inventory to about 372 million barrels – its lowest since 1983. DOE said it would resume buying oil for the SPR when prices were consistently at or below $67-to-$72 per barrel.
Big Hill SPR is located in Jefferson County south of Beaumont. It can receive up to 225,000 barrels per day of crude.