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US to sell up to 12 million barrels of SPR sour crude in March: DOE

Washington — The US will sell up to 12 million barrels of crude from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve next month, the US Department of Energy said Friday.

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One of the sales approved by Congress in 2015, the sale will offer sour crude from three of the SPR's four sites along the Gulf Coast, including: up to 6 million barrels from Bryan Mound, Texas; up to 3 million barrels from Big Hill, Texas; and up to 3 million barrels from West Hackberry, Louisiana. The department will accept bids on the crude until March 11 and award contracts by March 20. The crude will be delivered in April and May.

The sale will fulfill the requirements of a section of Congress' 2015 budget which authorized the department to sell up to $2 billion of SPR crude for fiscal years 2017 through 2020 in order to fund modernization of the SPR.

Earlier this month, President Donald Trump's proposed $4.8 trillion budget included a proposal to sell 15 million barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and to sell off the 1 million-barrel Northeast Gasoline Supply Reserve.

The budget proposal calls for DOE to sell 15 million barrels of SPR crude to fund other agency priorities, including the environmental remediation of the Elk Hills Oil Field, previously known as Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 1, in Kern County, California.

In 2017, the Trump administration unveiled a proposed budget for the agency that included a "half-liquidation sale" of the SPR, selling an estimated 270 million barrels of crude from the reserve by 2027. The proposal was never taken up by Congress.

As of February 21, the SPR held 635 million barrels of crude, including 250.3 million barrels of sweet crude and 384.7 million barrels of sour crude.

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