The United States will sell up to 45 million barrels of oil from its reserve as part of a historic release.

Deliveries of crude from the sale of the SPR would take place from August 16 to September 30, the energy minister said.

The Biden administration said in late March that it would release a record 1 million barrels a day of oil from the SPR for six months, held in a series of salt caverns dug on the coasts of Louisiana and Texas.

The release was meant to help control oil prices which soared after Russia, one of the world’s top oil producers, invaded Ukraine and as the West imposed sanctions on Moscow.

Prices for world benchmark Brent crude have risen since the March 31 announcement to trade above $120 a barrel. This rise comes as few global oil producers have spare capacity and consumers emerging from the pandemic are driving fuel demand.

Biden administration officials have said the price of oil could be higher had the SPR not been used. But the release also drove the level of the reserve to its lowest point since 1987, adding to concerns over tight global oil markets despite the fact that the United States has more in stock than is required by international agreements. .

Oil contracts from a previous SPR sale, announced on May 24, were awarded to nine companies, including Valero, Exxon Mobil and Marathon Petroleum, the energy ministry said.

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