The United States intends to refill the strategic oil reserve


US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said Monday that the United States intends to refill its strategic oil reserve by the end of 2024, after the stock fell to its lowest historical levels last year.

In the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, US President Joe Biden announced an unprecedented withdrawal from oil reserves in a move criticized by Republicans.

Between September 2021 and July 2023, the United States consumed about 274 million barrels of reserve, causing it to fall to its lowest level in 40 years.

Washington established the reserve in the 1970s as an emergency reserve after the 1973 energy crisis.

In June 2023, the US government began buying back oil to boost reserves. In the following nine months, the strategic oil reserve was increased by about 14.7 million barrels, according to the US Energy Information Administration.

Granholm revealed that the reserve level has been enhanced by about 30 million barrels since last summer, attributing this to other transactions, including the recovery of quantities of crude oil that were loaned to major industrialists.

“By the end of this year, we will basically be back where we were,” she said at the CERA Energy Week conference in Houston.

The stock will be boosted by another 140 million barrels of oil that was originally expected to be sold between 2023 and 2027 after canceling sales set by Congress.

Oil prices have remained relatively stable since last fall after rising in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Producers in the OPEC+ alliance said earlier this month that they would extend production cuts by 2.2 million barrels per day in the second quarter to support prices.

Granholm emphasized that the Biden administration’s record shows that “while we can maintain energy security, we can also respond responsibly to the reality of market changes”.

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