US offers 18 million barrels of oil from emergency reserves

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WASHINGTON, Dec 17 (Reuters) – The United States Department of Energy said on Friday it will sell 18 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Reserve, with offers from companies to buy it expire on January 4, as part of a Previously announced statement aimed at cooling fuel prices.

The announcement of the sale was expected after the administration of President Joe Biden announced it as part of a larger release of 50 million barrels from the reserve in coordination with other oil-consuming countries, including China, India and South Korea. . The Department of Energy said last Friday that the sale would be published on December 17.

The administration has been trying to grapple with U.S. consumers’ concerns about high fuel costs and inflation as they travel more, despite the fact that Biden has few tools to deal with the price of crude, which is trading at a low price. global market.

By making the sale, the Department of Energy is speeding up an auction that had been authorized by Congress in 2018 to fund the government.

Deliveries of oil to companies from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, a series of caverns off the Texas and Louisiana coasts, will run from February 1 to March 31, the department said.

The department also plans to lend up to 32 million barrels of oil from reserves to companies that must return the crude with interest. The first batch of that exchange will be 4.8 million barrels with Exxon Mobil Corp, the largest oil company in the United States, the department said last Friday.

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(Reporting by Timothy Gardner, Edited in Spanish by Manuel Farías)

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