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US to replenish strategic oil reserves by end of 2024 - Energy Secretary

US Energy Secretary, Jennifer Granholm, has announced a strategic move to refill the United States' depleted oil reserves by the close of 2024.

US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm

According to a report by AFP, Granholm's announcement comes after a period of historic lows in the country's Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), exacerbated by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and subsequent fluctuations in oil prices.

In response to the crisis, President Joe Biden authorized the unprecedented tapping of the SPR, drawing criticism from Republicans.

Between September 2021 and July 2023, approximately 274 million barrels were released from the reserve, plunging it to its lowest level in four decades. The SPR, established in the aftermath of the 1973 energy crisis, serves as a vital emergency stockpile for the nation.

To address the dwindling reserves, the US government initiated oil repurchases in June 2023. Over the following nine months, the SPR saw an increase of approximately 14.7 million barrels, according to the US Energy Information Administration.

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Granholm further revealed that the reserves had been bolstered by an additional 30 million barrels since last summer, thanks to various transactions, including the return of crude oil loaned to industrial players.

"By the end of this year, we will essentially be back to where we would have been absent the sales," Granholm affirmed during the CERAWeek energy conference in Houston.

Moreover, an unexpected boon to the replenishment efforts came with the cancellation of congressionally mandated oil sales, freeing up an additional 140 million barrels for inventory boost.

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