U.S. will start buying oil to refill Strategic Petroleum Reserve next month

Critics slammed Biden last year for creating "national security" questions after depleting the SPR to historically low levels.

Published: May 13, 2023 11:16pm

The United States Department of Energy is expected to begin refilling its drained Strategic Petroleum Reserve beginning as early as next month, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said Thursday. 

Her comments were made during a hearing with the House Energy and Commerce Committee, where she explained that the process can begin after a “congressionally mandated sale of 26 million [oil] barrels” is completed, which is expected to happen in June.

“It's at that point,” Granholm continued, “where we will flip the switch and then seek to purchase” more oil to replenish the reserves that have been drained by Biden.

Last year, the administration depleted the reserves by 180 million barrels of oil, its largest sale in American history. Continued sales caused the SPR to plunge to its lowest level in 40 years at an estimated 372 million barrels, according to Reuters.

After intense backlash for 'attacking' American energy and sparking fears of national security risks, Biden’s administration said it would resume oil purchases once the price per barrel fell to $60-$72. Friday afternoon, crude oil was listed at $70.29/barrel. 

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