United States plans to lease space to energy companies to store oil in emergency reserve: report

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON: The US Department of Energy. USA It plans to announce on Wednesday that it will allow oil companies to lease space in the emergency oil reserve as it seeks to comply with President Donald Trump's directive to fill the facility to the maximum, two industries said sources.

The Strategic Petroleum Reserve, or SPR, has the capacity to take another 77 million barrels of oil, slightly less than what the country uses in four days.

Trump ordered the energy department, or DOE, on March 13 to take advantage of low oil prices and fill the reserve to the brim, in an effort to help domestic drillers suffering from the global drop in the price of oil. But carrying out the order has been difficult.

The DOE abandoned an initial plan to buy 30 million barrels after Congress failed to fund the purchase in the $ 2 trillion stimulus package. That plan aimed to help small and medium-sized drillers as it would only buy domestic oil from companies with up to 5,000 employees.

The SPR currently holds about 635 million barrels of oil in salt caves off the Texas and Louisiana coasts.

It was unclear whether the DOE would require companies that rent cave space to be based in the country, whether the oil will have to be produced in the United States, or whether it comes from companies with fewer than 5,000 workers.

The DOE did not immediately respond to a request for comment.