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After saying it would take years to refill the SPR, U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm is now saying that the Biden Administration plans to refill the SPR soon.
According to Secretary Granholm, the Biden Administration hopes to refill the SPR at lower oil prices yet this year—provided it is advantageous to taxpayers.
WTI prices dipped to sub-$70 per barrel last month but have since surged back to more than $83 per barrel. Last October, the Administration said it would repurchase crude oil for the SPR when prices were at or below $67-$72 per barrel.
The Administration sold off 221 million barrels of crude oil from the SPR last year, with the intent of replacing what it withdrew when the market conditions were right. In December, it announced its intention to make the first 3 million barrels of those repurchases and asked for bids by December 28. It did not, however, get offers that met its terms for price or quality, according to the Administration.
Granholm said earlier this year that refilling the SPR at $70 per barrel in 2023 would be difficult.
Granholm said on Wednesday that the United States couldn’t repurchase crude oil for the SPR and sell crude oil out of the SPR at the same time. The DoE is actively selling crude oil from the SPR as part of a congressional mandate that will see another 26 million barrels leave the reserve between now and the end of June, with 2 million barrels released over the last two weeks.
After the recent releases from the Strategic Petroleum Reserves, inventories in the nation’s reserves have sunk to 369.6 million barrels—down from 638 million barrels at the beginning of 2021, and the lowest amount of crude oil held in the stockpiles since November 1983.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.