The U.S. Energy Department on Monday announced that it plans to sell up to 8 million barrels of crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The oil will come from three of the SPR storage sites, with up to 3 million coming from the Bryan Mound site near Freeport, Texas. Bids must be received no later than 2 p.m. Central time on Jan. 17, and contracts will be awarded to by the end of January, the Energy Department said. Prices for West Texas Intermediate crude were already trading sharply lower when the announcement was made. February WTI crude traded at $52.64 a barrel, down $1.35, or 2.5%.
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