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$6 Billion Sale From Petroleum Reserve May Help Fund Infrastructure Plan

The U.S. could sell $6 billion worth of crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) as one of the financing sources for new investment in the infrastructure deal, Reuters reports, quoting a document being circulated by Republican lawmakers.

U.S. President Joe Biden announced on Thursday that he had agreed to a bipartisan infrastructure framework after meeting a bipartisan group of Senators.  

“We have a deal,” President Biden said on a compromise proposal for an infrastructure plan aimed at repairing roads and bridges, increasing the resilience of the electricity grid, and building new, resilient transmission lines to facilitate the expansion of renewable energy.

“Strategic petroleum reserve sale” is one of the proposed financing sources for new investment, the White House said in a factsheet on Thursday.

According to Reuters estimates, a sale from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, at the current WTI Crude price at just above $73 per barrel, would mean a sale of a total of 82 million barrels of crude oil from the SPR, or 13 percent of the crude currently held in the reserve.

The U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve was set up in the 1970s when the Arab oil embargo created a fuel crisis in the United States. As of June 18, 2021, the SPR held 623.9 million barrels of crude oil.

The document of the SPR sale proposal doesn’t include any timeline about when such sale would take place, Reuters reports.

The discussions about the infrastructure plan are far from over, and it could be another few months until a bill is passed in Congress and sent to President Biden to sign.

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In the most recent sale from the SPR, the U.S. Department of Energy awarded contracts in March to sell 10.1 million barrels of crude oil as part of a recent Congressionally-directed SPR crude oil sale.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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