Replenishing the Strategic Petroleum Reserve

“This success can translate to a more transformative and permanent paradigm shift for US energy policy, but the DOE’s success paves a clear path to future successes.”

The SPR strategy being, “how long can the US hold out against a hostile Middle East?” The Saudis appear to favor trump over other US politicians. Maybe appeasing trump is easier than satisfying a real president focused on the nation they represent rather than himself and ego. In any case. the DOE has adapted its newly granted authority engaging in fixed price contracts to replenish the oil reserve. An earlier pilot acquisition failed to acquire any barrels due to too few bidders and high prices for the bids.

In other developments, Saudi Arabia is cutting oil production by an additional 1 million barrels per day (bpd) from July to counter macroeconomic depressed markets. This is Arabia Light Crude which the US has less refining capability. Even so, it will have an impact on the Global economy. Offsetting some of this is the United Arab Emirates (UAE) increasing output targets by 200,000 bpd to 3.22 million bpd reflecting its production capacity (more revenue).

Instantaneous gasoline prices at the pump are increasing.

DOE Announces 6 Million Barrels for Strategic Petroleum Reserve Replenishment, Department of Energy

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Petroleum Reserves announced the awarding of contracts for the acquisition of 3 million barrels of U.S. produced crude oil for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR).  These contracts follow the Request for Proposal that was announced on May 15, 2023 (link below). This furthers the Biden-Harris Administration’s three-part replenishment plan, DOE also announced a new Notice of Solicitation to purchase approximately 3.1 million additional barrels of crude oil to the Big Hill SPR site this September. 

Today’s announcement advances the President’s replenishment strategy following his historic release from the SPR to address the significant global supply disruption caused by Putin’s war on Ukraine. Analysis from the Department of the Treasury indicates that SPR releases last year, along with coordinated releases from international partners, reduced gasoline prices by up to roughly 40 cents per gallon compared to what they would have been absent these drawdowns. 

A total of 10 companies responded to the Request for Proposal submitting 30 proposals. This purchase has been fully subscribed, and the contracts were awarded to five companies. These 3 million barrels are being purchased for an average price of about $73 per barrel, lower than the average of about $95 per barrel that SPR crude was sold for in 2022, securing a good deal for taxpayers. The crude oil will be delivered to the Big Hill SPR storage site from August 1, 2023, to August 31, 2023. 

The Administration’s three-part replenishment strategy includes: (1) Direct purchases with revenues from emergency sales; (2) Exchange returns that include a premium to volume delivered; and (3) Securing legislative solutions that avoid unnecessary sales unrelated to supply disruptions. DOE has already secured cancellation of 140 million barrels in congressionally mandated sales scheduled for Fiscal Years 2024 through 2027. This cancellation has led to significant progress toward replenishment. 

New Solicitation for Additional 3 Million Barrels of Crude Oil to Refill the SPR 

Today, the DOE also released another Notice of Solicitation to purchase approximately 3 million barrels of sour crude oil for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) at the Big Hill SPR site, with receipts scheduled for September 2023. Bids for this solicitation must be received by the DOE no later than 10:00 a.m. Central Time on June 20, 2023. Contracts will be awarded to successful offerors by June 30, 2023. This purchase is in continuation of the Biden-Harris Administration’s three-part replenishment plan and DOE will pursue additional repurchase opportunities this year as market conditions allow. 

The SPR continues to be the world’s largest supply of emergency crude oil, and the federally owned oil stocks are stored in underground salt caverns at four sites in Texas and Louisiana. Through scheduled maintenance periods and the Life Extension 2 program, DOE continues to prioritize the operational integrity of the SPR to ensure that the SPR can continue to meet its mission as a critical energy security asset. The SPR has a long history of protecting the economy and American livelihoods in times of emergency oil shortages. 

Celebrating the Administration’s SPR Acquisition,

Strategic Petroleum Reserve factsheet,

D.O.E. Announces Purchases for the SPR, Department of Energy, May 23.