The Biden administration on Tuesday said it will sell an additional 20 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve as part of a previous plan to tap the facility to calm oil prices boosted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and as demand recovers from the pandemic.
The administration said in late March it would release a record 1 million barrels of per day of oil for six months from the SPR, held in hollowed-out salt caverns on the coasts of Louisiana and Texas.
The United States has already sold 125 million barrels from the reserve with nearly 70 million barrels already delivered to purchasers, a senior administration official told reporters.
The SPR releases have been a “lifeline” to oil and refining companies as the industry continues efforts to get oil production back online after declines during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the official said.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration, the statistics arm of the Energy Department, said this month that U.S. oil output will rise to more than 11.9 million bpd in 2022 and to nearly 12.8 million bpd in 2023, from about 11.2 million bpd in 2021. That compares with a record near 12.3 million bpd in 2019.