October 31, 2022 [Reuters] – Oil refiner Valero Energy (VLO.N) said it expects the Biden administration to continue releasing oil from the U.S. emergency reserve through year-end and will continue buying barrels.
President Joe Biden last week announced a plan to release 15 million barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) – part of a record 180 million-barrel release that began in May. The United States is ready to tap reserves again next year if needed, he said.
Reserves released in the early days of the program were primarily sour crude, or crude with higher sulfur content, but more recent sales included more low-sulfur, sweet oil.
Valero sees value in buying sweet crude for its refining system, President Lane Riggs said on Tuesday. The refiner currently tops the list of companies that have received barrels from the U.S. reserve.
Riggs added that he expects some restocking of the SPR next year.
Biden announced a plan to replenish stocks when U.S. crude is around $70 a barrel, a level he said would still allow companies to profit while being a good deal for taxpayers. The U.S. benchmark was around $85 on Tuesday.
Valero on Tuesday reported bumper profits that zoomed past Wall Street estimates, helped by discounts on high-sulfur, sour crude that boosted margins.
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