(Bloomberg) -- Prices of sour oil spiked in the US after the Biden administration announced plans to buy similar crude for its emergency stockpile this summer. 

Mars crude, produced in the Gulf of Mexico, is trading at a 90-cent premium to benchmark West Texas Intermediate prices, from a discount of 40 cents on Thursday, according to Syntex Energy. The jump came after the Energy Department said it plans to buy 3 million barrels of sour oil for delivery in August and September, the bulk of US driving season.

The market for sour oil — so-called because it has a high sulfur content — was already tightening because output cuts by OPEC and its allies have reduced supplies of the stuff around the globe. Expectations that the US will in April renew sanctions on Venezuela, another sour oil producer, is also supporting prices. 

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