February 28, 2020 / 3:44 PM / a month ago

U.S. to sell 12 million barrels of crude from emergency reserve in compliance with 2015 law

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Energy said on Friday it will sell up to 12 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in compliance with the 2015 budget act.

The department said bids must be received no later than 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time on March 11 and contracts will be awarded no later than March 20. The reserve, held in underground salt caverns on the Texas and Louisiana coasts, currently holds 635 million barrels of oil, more than required under international agreements.

Up to 6 million barrels will be offered from the Bryan Mound, Texas site and up to 3 million barrels will be offered from both the Big Hill, Texas and West Hackberry, Louisiana sites.

President Donald Trump’s 2021 budget proposed a sale of another 15 million barrels from the reserve to help pay for projects overseen by the Energy Department.

The United States consumes roughly 20 million barrels of oil per day.

Reporting by Timothy Gardner; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Steve Orlofsky

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