DOE Announces 6 Million Barrels for Strategic Petroleum Reserve Replenishment

U.S. Department of Energy, June 9, 2023

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Petroleum Reserves recently announced that contracts have been awarded for the acquisition of 3 million barrels of U.S. produced crude oil for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). These contracts follow the Request for Proposal that was announced on May 15, 2023. Furthering the Biden-Harris Administration’s three-part replenishment plan, DOE also announced a new Notice of Solicitation to purchase approximately 3.1 million additional barrels of crude oil to the Big Hill SPR site this September. 

This announcement advances the President’s replenishment strategy following his historic release from the SPR to address the significant global supply disruption caused by Putin’s war on Ukraine. Analysis from the Department of the Treasury indicates that SPR releases last year, along with coordinated releases from international partners, reduced gasoline prices by up to roughly 40 cents per gallon compared to what they would have been absent these drawdowns. 

A total of 10 companies responded to the Request for Proposal submitting 30 proposals. This purchase has been fully subscribed, and the contracts were awarded to five companies, including: Atlantic Trading and Marketing (1 million barrels), Exxon Mobil (900,000 barrels), Gunvor USA (600,000 barrels), Macquarie Commodities Trading (300,000 barrels), and Sunoco Partners Marketing & Terminals (300,000 barrels). These 3 million barrels are being purchased for an average price of about $73 per barrel, lower than the average of about $95 per barrel that SPR crude was sold for in 2022, securing a good deal for taxpayers. The crude oil will be delivered to the Big Hill SPR storage site from August 1, 2023, to August 31, 2023. 

The Administration’s three-part replenishment strategy includes: (1) Direct purchases with revenues from emergency sales; (2) Exchange returns that include a premium to volume delivered; and (3) Securing legislative solutions that avoid unnecessary sales unrelated to supply disruptions. DOE has already secured cancellation of 140 million barrels in congressionally mandated sales scheduled for Fiscal Years 2024 through 2027. This cancellation has led to significant progress toward replenishment. 

New Solicitation for Additional 3 Million Barrels of Crude Oil to Refill the SPR 

The DOE has also released another Notice of Solicitation to purchase approximately 3 million barrels of sour crude oil for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) at the Big Hill SPR site, with receipts scheduled for September 2023. Bids for this solicitation must be received by the DOE no later than 10:00 a.m. Central Time on June 20, 2023. Contracts will be awarded to successful offerors by June 30, 2023. This purchase is in continuation of the Biden-Harris Administration’s three-part replenishment plan and DOE will pursue additional repurchase opportunities this year as market conditions allow. 

The SPR continues to be the world’s largest supply of emergency crude oil, and the federally owned oil stocks are stored in underground salt caverns at four sites in Texas and Louisiana. Through scheduled maintenance periods and the Life Extension 2 program, DOE continues to prioritize the operational integrity of the SPR to ensure that the SPR can continue to meet its mission as a critical energy security asset. The SPR has a long history of protecting the economy and American livelihoods in times of emergency oil shortages. 

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