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President Trump orders purchase of 77 million barrels of oil to support U.S. oil producers

President Donald Trump speaks during a briefing about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Sunday, March 15, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
President Donald Trump speaks during a briefing about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Sunday, March 15, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)(NBC15)
Published: Mar. 19, 2020 at 12:16 PM CDT
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President Donald Trump has ordered the Department of Energy to purchase 77 million barrels of American-made crude oil to support U.S. oil producers who have hit hard times because of the coronavirus and turmoil in the international market.

According to a release, the DOE will begin the process by purchasing an initial 30 million barrels to fill the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

Additional purchases are set to follow until the reserve reaches its maximum capacity of 77 million barrels.

“DOE is moving quickly to support U.S. oil producers facing potentially catastrophic losses from the impacts of COVID-19 and the intentional disruption to world oil markets by foreign actors,” said U.S. Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette.

The release states that the DOE will purchase up to 30 million barrels of sweet and sour crude oil with a focus on small to midsize U.S. oil producers.

“The small to midsize oil producers, which are the focus of the initial crude oil purchase, employ thousands of Americans,” said Under Secretary of Energy Mark W. Menezes. “These businesses have been particularly hard hit by recent events but under President Trump’s leadership, we are taking swift action to assist hard hit producers and deliver strong returns to the taxpayer.”

“The SPR is mission-ready to receive up to 685,000 barrels per day,” explained Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy, Steven Winberg. “With its extensive storage, pipeline, and marine infrastructure along the Gulf Coast, the SPR will help relieve oil-related disruptions to our economy.”

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