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WASHINGTON, DC - The U.S. Department of Energy today announced it will not sign contracts this year for the receipt and transportation of up to 13 million barrels of crude oil to the Nation's strategic petroleum reserve sites (SPR).

The Department received bids on Tuesday in response to a solicitation issued in April for delivery of royalty oil to the United States' crude oil reserves from July through December of this year.   The solicitation was issued in accordance with the provisions of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which directs that the SPR be filled to its authorized size of one billion barrels, which advances the President's agenda to increase the Nation's energy security.  The modest fill rate of approximately 76,000 barrels per day through the royalty-in-kind contract would have begun on July 1, 2008 with deliveries of crude oil beginning in August 2008 and continuing through December 2008.

The SPR has a capacity of 727 million barrels and since the start of the Bush Administration, the SPR's inventory has increased in size from approximately 540 million barrels to its current inventory of 702.7 million barrels of oil stored in the underground salt caverns located along the Gulf Coast of Louisiana and Texas.

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Megan Barnett, (202) 586-4940