The Energy Information Administration (EIA), the statistical arm of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), said on November 28th that the government could order another release from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to build heating oil stocks this winter.
The acting head of the EIA, Mark Mazur, said that: “If I were asked: Is it too late to get more heating oil into inventories in February? I’d say ‘No.’”
He indicated that the administration needed to order a release before the 25th of any given month, the deadline for energy firms to reserve private pipelines to transport oil from the reserve sites in the following month.
Mazur said that 21 million barrels of the 30 million barrels of oil released by President Bill Clinton on September 22nd had been delivered to oil companies and were being seen on the markets.
He said that a significant portion of the 6-million-barrel crude oil stock build reported last week by the EIA could be attributed to the SPR release and suggested that heating oil inventories should see an increase in the coming weeks as the additional oil is refined.
U.S. Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson had said on November 19th that the administration had not ruled out a further stockpile release.
The EIA has already begun an analysis of a possible second release on its own accord, after the government had requested an analysis of the effects of the first release in September.