The U.S. Energy Department issued a notice of sale of crude from the emergency reserve on Friday, a day after President Joe Biden announced the largest release ever in an effort to push down fuel prices that have soared during Russia’s war with Ukraine.
About 1 million barrels of oil will be sold from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve for six months starting in May. Biden said the oil will serve as a bridge until domestic producers can boost production to help bring oil supply back into balance with demand.
Last month Biden banned U.S. imports from Russia, which produces about 10% of the world’s oil.
The first 90 million barrels of SPR oil will be released between May and July, including 20 million barrels that had already been scheduled to get to market in May through previous releases. The another 90 million barrels will be released between August and October, the Energy Department said.
The reserve, which currently contains about 568.3 million barrels, or the lowest since about May 2002, is held in four sites in coastal Texas and Louisiana. Up to 38.5 million barrels will be sold through July from two Texas sites, and up to 31.5 million barrels will be sold from the two Louisiana sites, the department said.