May 13, 2020 / 8:33 PM / 17 days ago

U.S. to buy up to 1 mln bbls of oil for Strategic Petroleum Reserve

WASHINGTON, May 13 (Reuters) - The U.S. Energy Department said on Wednesday it will buy up to 1 million barrels of sweet crude for the government’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve as part an effort to help producers struggling as the coronavirus strangles oil demand.

The move came after the department canceled an initial plan to buy up to 30 million barrels, on its way to purchasing a total of 77 million barrels, for the reserve. President Donald Trump had ordered Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette in March to fill the reserve to the top, but Congress failed to fund the purchase after some lawmakers complained it would help oil companies during the coronavirus pandemic.

Reporting by Timothy Gardner; Editing by Leslie Adler

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