US resumes SPR refills as crude prices slip below $80/bbl

May 7, 2024
The US Department of Energy is resuming Strategic Petroleum Reserve purchases, with new deliveries beginning in October.

Just over a month after it paused a program to refill the nation’s emergency crude oil stockpile, the US Department of Energy (DOE) on May 7 said it was resuming Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) purchases, with new deliveries beginning in October.

DOE stopped buying for the SPR in April—canceling two solicitations for August and September delivery—noting that it was not in taxpayers’ interest for it to purchase while prices were surging (OGJ Online, Apr. 5, 2024).

DOE’s Office of Petroleum Reserves issued a solicitation to buy up to 3.3 million bbl deliveries into its Big Hill, Texas, SPR storage site in October. Bids are due May 14.

“This is a continuation of DOE’s strategy of consistent solicitations aimed at purchasing oil when it can purchase at a good deal for taxpayers: a price around $79 per bbl,” DOE said in a statement.

DOE has bought a total 32.3 million bbl at an average price of $76.98/bbl, and has accelerated nearly 4 million bbl of exchange returns, to refill the reserve after the Biden administration’s 180 million bbl SPR withdrawal in 2022 to curb oil and gasoline prices following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine (OGJ Online, Mar. 31, 2022). 

About the Author

Cathy Landry | Washington Correspondent

Cathy Landry has worked over 20 years as a journalist, including 17 years as an energy reporter with Platts News Service (now S&P Global) in Washington and London.

She has served as a wire-service reporter, general news and sports reporter for local newspapers and a feature writer for association and company publications.

Cathy has deep public policy experience, having worked in 15 years in Washington energy circles.

She earned a master’s degree in government from The Johns Hopkins University and studied newspaper journalism and psychology at Syracuse University.