The United States may soon be selling down its oil reserves. A spending bill passed by the country’s lawmakers authorizes the Department of Energy (DOE) to carry out the sale in order to fund the revamping of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), located in underground salt caverns in Louisiana and Texas. ''The measure will allow the Department to take necessary steps to increase the integrity and extend the life'' of the reserve, said a DOE spokesperson.
In Russia, Moscow has announced plans to increase crude exports in 2017. However, the Russian government insists, much will hinge on how the agreement signed by OPEC and non-OPEC member states is going to be implemented. ''We are speaking about 253.5 million tons this year, which is 4.8 percent higher than in 2015,'' said Russian deputy energy minister Kirill Molodtsov. This in spite of OPEC’s expectation that Russian producers to cut production by just under 300,000 bpd.
The Wall Street Journal has pointed out that the price crisis is leading more and more leading crude oil producers, including Statoil, Eni, Total, Exxon and Shell, to take advantage of the growth and business opportunities offered by alternative energies. The giants appear to be betting on wind, even going so far as to employ the technology to power their petroleum operations.