Shell Takes 870,000 Barrels From US Oil Reserve to Help Curb Price at Pump - Energy Dept.

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Oil barrels - Sputnik International, 1920, 12.01.2022
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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The United States has released 870,000 barrels from its Strategic Petroleum Reserve to the Shell Trading Company under a fourth sale-and-exchange deal aimed at reducing prices of fuel at the pump, the Department of Energy said in a press release.
The transaction with Shell follows two previous sale-and-exchange deals with ExxonMobil for a total of 6.8 million barrels and a separate 250,000-barrel arrangement with Marathon Petroleum.
"Today, the US Department of Energy (DOE) approved a fourth exchange of 870,000 barrels of crude oil for release to Shell Trading (US) Company from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR)," the release said on Wednesday.
The Department of Energy announced earlier this month that up to 32 million barrels will be released from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve through the sale-and-exchange program. The four exchanges so far account for some 8 million barrels from that target.
"As with all exchanges, companies that receive SPR crude oil through the exchange agree to return the amount of crude oil received, as well as an additional amount, dependent upon the length of time in which they hold the oil," the release said.
Through the exchange program, the Biden administration hopes to reduce the amount of crude oil that petroleum refiners buy directly from the open market in order to cap prices for both the raw material and the fuel sold at pumps, the release added.
Prices of crude oil and fuel at US pumps hit their highest this year since 2014 as global oil exporters under the OPEC+ alliance cut output despite higher demand for energy in a world recovering from the coronavirus pandemic measures.
President Joe Biden announced in November that the United States will join other major oil consuming countries under a coordinated action to release crude from their reserves in order to tamp down inflation from soaring energy prices.
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