Eddie Seal/Bloomberg News
The Obama administration said it plans to sell 5 million barrels of crude from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve in a test of the distribution system.
The sale of less than 1% of the total stockpile has been scheduled for some time and isn’t tied to turmoil in Ukraine or other geopolitical events, said William Gibbons, a Department of Energy spokesman.
“Due to the recent dramatic increase in domestic crude oil production, significant changes in the system have occurred — including pipeline expansion, construction of new infrastructure, reversed flow of existing pipelines and increased use of domestic crude oil terminals,” necessitating the test, Gibbons said in a statement.
Potential buyers have until March 14 to submit bids for the oil in the reserve, created in 1975 as a way to protect against a severe disruption in supply. Delivery will start April 1 and end April 30, the department said.