The department said it bought the oil, for delivery to a site in Big Spring, Texas, for an average of $77.31 a barrel, below the average of $95 a barrel that oil sold for in 2022.
The administration of President Joe Biden had conducted sales last year, including a record one of 180 million barrels, to help control oil prices after Russia, a large crude exporter, invaded Ukraine.
The U.S has now purchased about 14 million barrels for replenishment after last year’s sales. About 4 million barrels are also coming back to the SPR by February as oil companies return oil that had been loaned to them through a swap.
On the latest transaction, Sunoco Partners Marketing & Terminals LP sold 1.2 million barrels to the SPR, while Macquarie Commodities Trading US LLC and Phillips 66 each sold about 900,000 barrels, the Energy Department said on its website.
The Energy Department had already secured the cancellation of 140 million barrels in congressionally mandated sales from the SPR scheduled from late this year through late 2026. The cancellation “has led to significant progress toward replenishment,” the department has said.
(Reporting by Richard Valdmanis and Caitlin Webber; Editing by Dan Whitcomb and Chris Reese)