Summary of 50 Million Barrel Release from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve

Today, the U.S. Department of Energy announced the release of 50 million barrels of crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR).  The SPR release will consist of a 32-million-barrel exchange solicitation to be open to the public on Wednesday, November 24, 2021, and an 18 million barrel Congressionally-mandated sale that will conclude all sales under the authority of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 during Fiscal Years 2022-2025. 

The exchange will be conducted with crude oil from all four SPR sites:

  • Up to 10 million barrels from Bryan Mound
  • Up to 10 million barrels from Big Hill
  • Up to 7 million barrels from West Hackberry
  • Up to 5 million barrels from Bayou Choctaw

SPR crude oil will be delivered to successful bidders between December 16, 2021, and April 30, 2022, with priority given to those bidders that can take the SPR crude oil the earliest.  Successful bidders will then have to deliver the amount of crude oil they received, plus a premium volume defined in the solicitation, back to the same SPR site where the crude oil was released at specific months during Fiscal Years 2022, 2023, and 2024.  The longer it takes to return the crude oil back to the SPR, the more premium volume of crude oil will be required. 

Companies interested in receiving crude oil through the exchange must submit bids no later than 10:00 a.m. Central Time, December 6, 2021, and contracts will be awarded to successful offerors no later than December 14, 2021.

Details on the allocation for deliveries of exchange oil from the SPR and deliveries of return oil to the SPR for each site are in the table below:


The delivery schedule shown above may allow for economic delivery-size marine cargoes not less than 250,000 barrels for vessels and commercial pipeline cargo shipments not less than 200,000 barrels per cargo (150,000 for pipeline deliveries from Bayou Choctaw).  No single commercial entity will receive an award for more than 10 million barrels unless all acceptable awards have been made and there are still barrels available.

Any company registered in the SPR’s Crude Oil Sales Offer Program is eligible to participate in either the competitive exchange or the upcoming Congressionally mandated sale.  Other interested companies may register through the SPR website’s Crude Oil Sales Offer Program.  Successful bidders for exchange oil will be required to provide a Letter of Credit.