Amos Hochstein, the U.S. official responsible for energy diplomacy, said on Friday that the United States could begin to replenish its strategic oil supplies this autumn if oil prices are at the right level.
The Special Presidential Coordinator for global infrastructure and energy security at the U.S. State Department stated that the White House is “100% committed to replenishing the SPR over a period of time,” in an interview at the Bloomberg New Economy Gateway Europe event in Dublin.
Hochstein stressed that the timing for SPR replenishment will be determined by a number of factors, including the price of WTI crude.
He noted that the United States sold oil barrels at considerably above $90 per barrel on average last year. “If we can buy back at $70 per barrel, that is both prudent, good management of the SPR itself, and a good deal for the American people financially,” he added.
Hochstein’s statement marks the second time a high-ranking U.S. official has emphasized the need to refill the nation’s strategic oil reserves.
In early April, U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm stated her aim to restore SPR to pre-Ukraine conflict levels.
SPR reserves in the United States fell to 367,963 thousand barrels in the week ending April 14, hitting the lowest level since October 1983, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).
Oil prices rose after the news. A barrel of WTI crude was up 1.6% to $78. The United States Oil Fund ETF USO closed at $68.67 per share on Thursday, but is expected to trade higher on Friday.
WTI price intraday price action – Chart: TradingView
Photo created with artificial intelligence using MidJourney.