The United States on July 11 said 14 companies had been awarded contracts for the latest sale of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve as part of the Biden administration's efforts to ease oil prices boosted by reactions to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The administration said in late March it would release a record 1 million barrels of oil per day of oil for six months from the SPR, held in hollowed-out salt caverns on the coasts of Louisiana and Texas.

Chevron Corp., ExxonMobil Corp. and Valero Energy Corp. will be among the firms to take delivery of crude oil between Aug. 16 and Sept. 30, the Energy Department said in a release.

The latest sale had offered up to 45 million barrels of oil, but companies bought only about 39 million barrels.

Despite the historic release, Western sanctions on Russia, one of the world's largest oil exporters, after its Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine have helped keep crude prices stubbornly above $100 a barrel. The high prices are a risk to President Joe Biden's fellow Democrats in the November elections as they seek to maintain control of both chambers of Congress.