The US Energy Department formally outlined a sale of oil from emergency reserves on Friday, a day after President Joe Biden announced the largest release ever in an effort 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 the release, the third in the past six months, will serve as a bridge until domestic producers can boost output and bring supply back into balance with demand.
Last month Biden banned US imports from Russia, which produces about 10% 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 had already been scheduled to get to market in May. The another 90 million barrels will be released between August and October, the Energy Department said.
The SPR, which currently contains about 568.3 million barrels, the lowest since about May 2002, is held in four sites along coastal Texas and Louisiana. Up to 38.5 million barrels will be sold through July from the two Texas sites, and up to 31.5 million barrels will be sold from the two Louisiana sites, the department said.
Proceeds from the sale will used to refill the reserve at a later date, the White House has said. (Reporting by Ismail Shakil in Bengaluru and Timothy Gardner in Washington; Editing by David Gregorio and Leslie Adler)