The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has approved requests from U.S. oil firms to delay the return of 80 percent of the crude they received last year from strategic stockpiles, according to a DOE spokesman on March 29th.
The Bush administration has decided to extend by more than one year the planned August return for 23.8 million of the 30 million barrels released from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) in September and October of 2000.
“We have approved a request from five of the nine companies that took SPR crude to delay the delivery dates,” a DOE spokesman was quoted as saying.
“The new periods that have been negotiated are between December 2001 and January 2003,” the spokesman added.
The former Clinton administration swapped 30 million barrels of crude oil from the SPR under an exchange plan last September designed to relieve tight oil supplies, in particular heating oil in the U.S. Northeast.
The original SPR release plan allowed firms to request a delay in returning the crude. The late return will mean the companies will ultimately deliver some 2.4 million barrels more into the SPR than they received, part of the conditions of the deal, the DOE spokesman said.
The remaining 6.2 million barrels released from the SPR will be returned by August 2001 as initially planned, he added.
The companies that have taken the SPR crude are BP Amoco, Hess Energy Trading, Marathon Ashland, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, Equiva, Valero Energy, Vitol and Elf Trading.
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)