FILE PHOTO: The Bryan Mound Strategic Petroleum Reserve, an oil storage facility, is seen in this aerial photograph over Freeport, Texas, U.S., April 27, 2020. REUTERS/Adrees Latif/File Photo

U.S. Energy Department Kicks Off Record-Setting Release from Strategic Petroleum Reserve

Mike Schuler
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April 21, 2022

The U.S. Department of Energy has announced the sale of 30 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), the first since President Biden announced plans for the largest SPR release in U.S. history in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The sale marks the second emergency sale of SPR oil since Russian forces invaded Ukraine in late February, following an initial 30 million barrels sold from the SPR in March as part of an international effort to collectively release 60 million barrels.

Following up on the March sale, President Biden earlier this month announced the “historic” release of approximately one million barrels of crude oil per day over the next six months—the largest-ever release from the SPR—to help lower gas prices for Americans amid supply disruptions caused by Putin’s war on Ukraine.

“The release will provide a record amount of supply to the market until the end of the year, when domestic production is expected to increase by 1 million barrels per day. DOE will use the revenue from the release to restock the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in future years,” the White House said in a Fact Sheet.

The Fact Sheet described this initial sale as “substantially oversubscribed,” with the Deparment of Energy receiving bids for a total of 76 million barrels—more than double the number of barrels put up for sale.

According the Department of Energy, a total of 16 companies responded to the latest April 1st notice of sale, collectively submitting 126 bids resulting in contacts to 12 companies. Of the total of 30 million barrels, 8 million barrels were sold from the SPR’s Bryan Mound site (near Freeport, TX), 9.6 million barrels from the West Hackberry site (near Hackberry, LA), 3.7 million barrels from the Bayou Choctaw site (near Baton Rouge, LA), and 8.7 million barrels from the Big Hill site (near Winnie, TX).

Delivery will take place in May and June.

The contract winners are below:

Atlantic Trading & Marketing, Inc. (2.1 million barrels)
Chevron USA (1.025 million barrels)
Equinor Marketing & Trading (0.7 million barrels)
ExxonMobil Oil Corporation (3.6 million barrels)
Glencore Ltd. (2.6 million barrels)
Marathon Petroleum Supply and Trading LLC (2.375 million barrels)
Mercuria (0.5 million barrels)
Motiva Enterprises LLC (4.05 million barrels)
Phillips 66 Company (2.5 million barrels)
Shell Trading (US) Company (2.75 million barrels)
Unipec America, Inc. (0.95 million barrels)
Valero Marketing and Supply Company (6.85 million barrels)

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