US Buys 3 Million Barrels of Oil to Replenish Strategic Reserve

By Jace Dela Cruz

Dec 27, 2023 05:14 AM EST

The United States has successfully finalized contracts to buy three million barrels of oil to help replenish the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) following last year's record-setting sale, the US Department of Energy disclosed on Tuesday.

According to Reuters, the department purchased the oil, destined for delivery to a site in Big Spring, Texas, at an average cost of $77.31 per barrel, notably below the average $95 per barrel sold in 2022.


(Photo : CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images)
An aerial view shows a pumpjack operating at an oil well in Gray Horse, Oklahoma, on September 29, 2023

US Buys $77.31 Per Barrel of Oil

In a statement, the Department of Energy's Office of Petroleum Reserves detailed that the contracts to purchase three million barrels of US-produced crude oil have been awarded to three companies, aligning with the Request for Proposal (RFP) announced last December 8.

The department noted that the acquisition cost, averaging $77.31 per barrel, is a good deal for taxpayers compared to the 2022 average selling price of $95 per barrel. 

In 2023, the DOE acquired a total of 13.83 million barrels of oil for the SPR, averaging $75.63 per barrel, and expedited nearly four million barrels of exchange returns according to its strategy to refill the SPR.

The Treasury Department's analysis suggests that the SPR releases last year, with international partners' coordinated efforts, reduced gasoline prices by almost 40 cents per gallon. 

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Oil Set for Delivery

Nine companies responded to the RFP, submitting a total of 33 proposals. Contracts were ultimately awarded to the three companies that met quality and specification requirements while providing competitive bids. The crude oil is scheduled for delivery to the Big Hill SPR storage site from March 1 to 31, 2024.

The Biden administration's ongoing three-part replenishment strategy to get the best deal for taxpayers while increasing SPR stocks includes direct purchases with revenues from emergency sales, exchange returns with a premium of oil above the volume delivered, and secured legislative solutions to prevent unnecessary sales unrelated to supply disruptions. 

The Department of Energy (DOE) has already canceled 140 million barrels of congressionally mandated sales set for Fiscal Years 2024 through 2027, resulting in "significant progress toward replenishment," the department has said.

The Energy Department said on its website that on the latest transaction, Sunoco Partners Marketing & Terminals LP sold 1.2 million barrels to the SPR, while Phillips 66 and Macquarie Commodities Trading US LLC each sold around 900,000 barrels.

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