President Joe Biden’s administration is slowly purchasing oil for the SPR after it sold a record 180 million barrels from it in 2022 to help fight high oil prices after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Bids for the solicitation are due on Jan. 10.
The department has bought back about 13.8 million barrels at an average price of $75.63 a barrel, nearly $20 a barrel less than it sold the oil for in 2022, and has sped up the return of nearly 4 million barrels from loans to oil companies.
It also worked with Congress to cancel what had been mandatory sales of 140 million barrels from the SPR required by laws passed by both Democrats and Republicans for about four years starting in late 2023.
The SPR, the world’s largest stash of emergency oil supply, currently holds about 354.4 million barrels in underground salt caverns in four locations on the coasts of Texas and Louisiana.
(Reporting by Katharine Jackson, Timothy Gardner and Susan Heavey; Editing by Doina Chiacu and Jan Harvey)