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“With all the jobs and all the good that they do we’re going to make sure that they stay in good shape,” he said.
The president’s announcement came after he met with a group of energy industry executives at the White House and promised that he’s “1,000 percent” supporting them as the coronavirus pandemic and a dispute between Russian and Saudi officials have sunk oil prices.
“We’ll work this out,” Trump told the group.
The SPR will make 30 million barrels of storage capacity immediately available to U.S. producers and another 47 million barrels’ worth later, according to the Department of Energy.
Prices hit an 18-year low last month as demand plunged amid an unhindered output, but comments from Trump about a potential resolution coming soon from Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman have helped prices recover somewhat. The price of benchmark crude oil rose $3.02 to $28.34 per barrel Friday. Brent crude oil, the international standard, was up $41.17 to $34.11.
Both leaders “want something to happen badly,” Trump said Friday. He said on Thursday that the countries might be agreeing to cut output by 10 million or 15 million barrels.
During the meeting Friday, Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette suggested oil prices could even go negative — when energy companies pay customers to take surplus oil off their hands due to a lack of storage.
“They will be paying us,” he said.
However, Brouillette said in a press release that the department would continue working with Congress “to find ways to make funding available for DOE to buy American oil.”
Officials expect the first crude oil deliveries from producers to arrive later this month or in early May, according to Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy Steven Winberg. The SPR will be set to accept as many as 685,000 barrels per day.