Washington, Apr 21 (EFE).- The United States announced Thursday that it has awarded contracts to sell the initial 30 million barrels of oil released from its strategic reserves under its plan to check rising fuel prices.
The US Department of Energy said in a statement that after 16 companies submitted 126 bids for the barrels, it has awarded contracts to 12 companies, including ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell, Glencore, Atlantic Trading & Marketing, Motiva, Phillips 66 and Valero.
“This is an important step to addressing the supply shortage and the Putin Price Hike (caused by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine) Americans are facing. These sales will continue,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in another statement.
US President Joe Biden authorized the release of 1 million barrels of oil from the country’s strategic reserves per day for six months to check the increase in fuel prices caused by the Russian invasion.
In addition, the 31 member countries of the governing board of the International Energy Agency (IEA) have agreed to release 60 million barrels of oil from their emergency reserves.
“DOE plans to issue a third Notice of Sale on May 24, 2022 for an additional 40 million barrels and for delivery starting in June,” the US Department of Energy said.
The impact of this move is likely to be limited as the US provides only 1 percent of the global supply of oil and Russia has stopped releasing some 3 million barrels a day into the market.
However, both the IEA and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries have significantly lowered their forecasts for global oil demand for this year and, in principle, do not expect serious shortages despite the uncertainty surrounding Russian crude oil. EFE