Table of Contents

United States Oil Fund, LP

Table of Contents

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Part I

 

 

Item 1. Business.

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Item 1A. Risk Factors.

32

 

 

Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments.

49

 

 

Item 1C. Cybersecurity.

49

Item 2. Properties.

50

 

 

Item 3. Legal Proceedings.

50

 

 

Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures.

53

 

 

Part II

 

 

Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities.

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Item 6. [Reserved].

54

 

 

Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.

54

 

 

Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk.

74

 

 

Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.

76

 

 

Item 9. Changes in and Disagreements With Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure.

101

 

 

Item 9A. Controls and Procedures.

101

 

 

Item 9B. Other Information.

101

 

 

Item 9C. Disclosure Regarding Foreign Jurisdictions that Prevent Inspections.

101

Part III

 

 

Item 10. Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance.

102

 

 

Item 11. Executive Compensation.

107

 

 

Item 12. Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters.

107

 

 

Item 13. Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence.

107

 

 

Item 14. Principal Accountant Fees and Services.

108

 

 

Part IV

 

 

Item 15. Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules.

109

 

 

Item 16. Form 10-K Summary.

110

Exhibit Index.

109

 

 

Signatures.

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Table of Contents

Part I

Item 1. Business.

What is USO?

The United States Oil Fund, LP (“USO”) is a Delaware limited partnership organized on May 12, 2005. USO maintains its main business office at 1850 Mt. Diablo Boulevard, Suite 640, Walnut Creek, California 94596. USO is a commodity pool that issues limited partnership interests (“shares”) traded on the NYSE Arca, Inc. (the “NYSE Arca”). USO’s shares began trading on April 10, 2006. It operates pursuant to the terms of the Seventh Amended and Restated Agreement of Limited Partnership dated as of December 15, 2017 (as amended from time to time, the “LP Agreement”), which grants full management control to its general partner, United States Commodity Funds LLC (“USCF”).

The investment objective of USO is for the daily changes in percentage terms of its per share net asset value (“NAV”) to reflect the daily changes in percentage terms of the spot price of light, sweet crude oil delivered to Cushing, Oklahoma, as measured by the daily changes in the price of a specified short-term futures contract on light, sweet crude oil called the “Benchmark Oil Futures Contract,” plus interest earned on USO’s collateral holdings, less USO’s expenses. USO seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing so that the average daily percentage change in USO’s NAV for any period of 30 successive valuation days will be within plus/minus ten percent (10%) of the average daily percentage change in the price of the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract over the same period. As a result, investors should be aware that USO would meet its investment objective even if there are significant deviations between changes in its daily NAV and changes in the daily price of the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract provided that the average daily percentage change in USO’s NAV over 30 successive valuation days is within plus/minus ten percent (10%) of the average daily percentage change in the price of the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract over the same period.

Investors should be aware that USO’s investment objective is not for its NAV or market price of shares to equal, in dollar terms, the spot price of light, sweet crude oil or any particular futures contract based on light, sweet crude oil, nor is USO’s investment objective for the percentage change in its NAV to reflect the percentage change of the price of any particular futures contract as measured over a time period greater than one day. This is because natural market forces called contango and backwardation may impact and have impacted the total return on an investment in USO’s shares relative to a hypothetical direct investment in crude oil and, in the future, it is likely that the relationship between the market price of USO’s shares and changes in the spot prices of light, sweet crude oil will continue to be impacted by contango and backwardation. Also, while USO’s shares may be impacted by contango and backwardation the potential costs associated with the alternative of physically owning and storing crude oil entails significant costs which could be substantial.

Who is USCF?

USCF is a single member limited liability company that was formed in the state of Delaware on May 10, 2005. USCF maintains its main business office at 1850 Mt. Diablo Boulevard, Suite 640, Walnut Creek, California 94596. USCF is a wholly-owned subsidiary of USCF Investments, Inc., formerly Wainwright Holdings, Inc., a Delaware corporation (“USCF Investments”), which is an intermediate holding company that owns USCF and another advisor of exchange traded funds. USCF Investments is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Marygold Companies, Inc., formerly, Concierge Technologies, Inc. (publicly traded under the ticker: MGLD ) (“Marygold”), a publicly traded holding company that owns various financial and non-financial businesses. Mr. Nicholas Gerber (discussed below), along with certain family members and certain other shareholders, owns the majority of the shares in Marygold. USCF Investments is a holding company that currently holds both USCF, as well as USCF Advisers LLC, an investment adviser registered under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended (“USCF Advisers”). USCF Advisers serves as the investment adviser for the USCF SummerHaven Dynamic Commodity Strategy No K-1 Fund (“SDCI”), USCF Midstream Energy Income Fund (“UMI”), USCF Dividend Income Fund (“UDI”), USCF Gold Strategy Plus Income Fund (“GLDX”), USCF Sustainable Battery Metals Strategy Fund (“ZSB”), USCF Energy Commodity Strategy Absolute Return Fund (“USE”), USCF Sustainable Commodity Strategy Fund (“ZSC”), and USCF Aluminum Strategy Fund (“ALUM”), each a series of the USCF ETF Trust. USCF ETF Trust is registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended (the “1940 Act”). The Board of Trustees for the USCF ETF Trust consists of different independent trustees than those independent directors who serve on the Board of Directors of USCF. USCF is a member of the National Futures Association (the “NFA”) and registered as a commodity pool operator (“CPO”) with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (the “CFTC”) on December 1, 2005 and as a swaps firm on August 8, 2013.

USCF serves as the general partner of USO.

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USCF also serves as the general partner of the United States Natural Gas Fund, LP (“UNG”), the United States 12 Month Oil Fund, LP (“USL”), the United States Gasoline Fund, LP (“UGA”), which listed their limited partnership shares on the American Stock Exchange (the “AMEX”) under the ticker symbols “UNG” on April 18, 2007, “USL” on December 6, 2007 and “UGA” on February 26, 2008, respectively. As a result of the acquisition of the AMEX by NYSE Euronext, each of UNG’s, USL’s and UGA’s shares commenced trading on the NYSE Arca on November 25, 2008. USCF is also the general partner of the United States 12 Month Natural Gas Fund, LP (“UNL”) and the United States Brent Oil Fund, LP (“BNO”), which listed their limited partnership shares on the NYSE Arca under the ticker symbols “UNL” on November 18, 2009 and “BNO” on June 2, 2010, respectively.

USCF is also the sponsor of the United States Commodity Index Fund (“USCI”) and the United States Copper Index Fund (“CPER”), each a series of the United States Commodity Index Funds Trust (“USCIFT”). USCI and CPER listed their shares on the NYSE Arca under the ticker symbols “USCI” on August 10, 2010 and “CPER” on November 15, 2011, respectively.

UNG, UGA, UNL, USL, BNO, USCI and CPER are referred to collectively herein as the “Related Public Funds.”

USO and the Related Public Funds are subject to reporting requirements under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”). For more information about each of the Related Public Funds, investors in USO may call 1-800-920-0259 or visit www.uscfinvestments.com or the website of the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) at www.sec.gov.

USCF is required to evaluate the credit risk of USO to the futures commission merchants (“FCMs”), oversee the purchase and sale of USO’s shares by certain authorized purchasers (“Authorized Participants”), review daily positions and margin requirements of USO and manage USO’s investments. USCF also pays the fees of ALPS Distributors, Inc. (“ALPS Distributors”), which serves as the marketing agent for USO (the “Marketing Agent”), and The Bank of New York Mellon (“BNY Mellon”), which serves as the administrator (the “Administrator”) and the custodian (the “Custodian”), and provides accounting and transfer agent services for, USO since April 1, 2020.

The limited partners take no part in the management or control of, and have a minimal voice in USO’s operations or business. Limited partners have no right to elect USCF as the general partner on an annual or any other continuing basis. If USCF voluntarily withdraws as general partner, however, the holders of a majority of USO’s outstanding shares (excluding for purposes of such determination shares owned, if any, by the withdrawing USCF and its affiliates) may elect its successor. USCF may not be removed as general partner except upon approval by the affirmative vote of the holders of at least 66 and 2/3 percent of USO’s outstanding shares (excluding shares owned, if any, by USCF and its affiliates), subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions set forth in the LP Agreement.

The business and affairs of USCF are managed by a board of directors (the “Board”), which is comprised of four management directors (the “Management Directors”), each of whom are also executive officers or employees of USCF, and three independent directors who meet the independent director requirements established by the NYSE Arca Equities Rules and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. The Management Directors have the authority to manage USCF pursuant to the terms of the Sixth Amended and Restated Limited Liability Company Agreement of USCF, dated as of May 15, 2015 (as amended from time to time, the “LLC Agreement”). Through its Management Directors, USCF manages the day-to-day operations of USO. The Board has an audit committee which is made up of the three independent directors (Gordon L. Ellis, Malcolm R. Fobes III and Peter M. Robinson). For additional information relating to the audit committee, please see “Item 10. Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance – Audit Committee” in this annual report on Form 10-K.

USO has no executive officers or employees. Pursuant to the terms of the LP Agreement, USO’s affairs are managed by USCF.

How Does USO Operate?

An investment in USO shares provides a means for diversifying an investor’s portfolio or hedging exposure to changes in oil prices. An investment in the shares allows both retail and institutional investors to easily gain this exposure to the crude oil market in a transparent, cost-effective manner.

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In providing such exposure, USCF employs a “neutral” investment strategy in order to track changes in the price of the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract regardless of whether the price goes up or goes down. USO’s “neutral” investment strategy is designed to permit investors generally to purchase and sell USO’s shares for the purpose of investing indirectly in crude oil in a cost-effective manner, and/or to permit participants in the oil or other industries to hedge the risk of losses in their crude oil-related transactions. Accordingly, depending on the investment objective of an individual investor, the risks generally associated with investing in crude oil and/or the risks involved in hedging may exist. In addition, an investment in USO involves the risk that the daily changes in the price of USO’s shares, in percentage terms, will not accurately track the daily changes in the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract, in percentage terms, and that daily changes in the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract, in percentage terms, will not closely correlate with daily changes in the spot prices of light, sweet crude oil, in percentage terms.

To meet its investment objective, USO primarily invests in futures contracts for light, sweet crude oil, other types of crude oil, diesel-heating oil, gasoline, natural gas, and other petroleum-based fuels that are traded on the NYMEX, ICE Futures or other U.S. and foreign exchanges (collectively, “Oil Futures Contracts”) and, to a lesser extent, in order to comply with regulatory requirements or in view of market conditions, other oil-related investments such as cash-settled options on Oil Futures Contracts, forward contracts for oil, cleared swap contracts and non-exchange traded over-the-counter (“OTC”) transactions that are based on the price of oil, other petroleum-based fuels, Oil Futures Contracts and indices based on the foregoing (collectively, “Other Oil-Related Investments”). For convenience and unless otherwise specified, Oil Futures Contracts and Other Oil-Related Investments collectively are referred to as “Oil Interests” in this annual report on Form 10-K. USO invests substantially the entire amount of its assets in Oil Interests while supporting such investments by holding the amounts of its margin, collateral and other requirements relating to these obligations in short-term obligations of the United States of two years or less (“Treasuries”), cash and cash equivalents. The daily holdings of USO are available on USO’s website at www.uscfinvestments.com.

Prior to the Spring of 2020, USO achieved its investment objective by primarily investing in the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract and Oil Futures Contracts for light, sweet crude oil traded on NYMEX and ICE Futures with the same maturity month as the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract. In the Spring of 2020, significant market volatility occurred in the crude oil markets and the oil futures markets. Such volatility was attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic, related supply chain disruptions and disputes among oil-producing countries over the potential limits on the production of crude oil, and a corresponding collapse in demand for crude oil and a lack of on-land storage for crude oil. Certain circumstances, including the market conditions, regulatory requirements, and risk mitigation measures imposed by its FCMs, resulting from such volatility caused, as discussed below, USO to invest in Oil Futures Contracts other than the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract and to invest in Other Oil-Related Investments, such as swap transactions based on the price of oil.

These conditions severely limited USO’s ability to have a substantial portion of its assets invested in the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract and certain other Oil Futures Contracts of the same month, such as cash-settled, but substantially similar, oil futures contracts traded on ICE Futures (the “ICE WTI Contract”).

Accordingly, USO invested, and since then has continued to invest, in other permitted Oil Futures Contracts with expirations in later months than the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract. USO also invested, and has continued to invest, in other permitted investments, including Other Oil-Related Investments, including OTC swaps. In addition, during the Spring of 2020, USO had to rebalance and adjust the types of holdings in its portfolio more frequently than it had in the past.

Beginning with the monthly roll in September 2023 and ending with the monthly roll in January 2024, USO began transitioning its investment portfolio so that it primarily invests in Benchmark Oil Futures Contracts, consistent with USO’s investment strategy prior to the Spring of 2020. However, USO has had, and will continue to have, the ability to invest in Oil Futures Contracts beyond the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract and Other Oil-Related Investments, such as OTC swaps, and USO may make such investments if market conditions, regulatory requirements, risk mitigation measures (including those that may be taken by USO, USO’s FCMs, counterparties or other market participants), liquidity requirements, or other factors require USO to do so in order to meet its investment objective. USO may invest in Oil Futures Contracts beyond the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract, and/or Other Oil-Related Investments, as a result or in response to any of the foregoing factors. In addition, USO may need to hold significant portions of its portfolio in cash beyond what it has historically held for reasons including (but not limited to) the need to address the changes in market conditions, regulatory requirements or risk mitigation measures or the need to satisfy potential margin requirements.

Each month over a ten-day period, USO changes the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract, which at the beginning of the month is the futures contract on light, sweet crude oil as traded on the NYMEX that is the near or front month to expire (referred to herein as the first month), into the NYMEX futures contract that is the next month contract to expire (referred to herein as the second month). Historically, this was done over a four-day period at the end of which the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract was the next month contract to expire at that time and that contract remained the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract until the beginning of the following month’s change in the

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Benchmark Oil Futures Contract over a four-day period. On each day during the four-day period, USCF “rolled” USO’s positions in Oil Interests by closing, or selling, a percentage of USO’s positions in Oil Interests and reinvesting the proceeds from closing those positions in new Oil Interests that reflected the change in the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract. In the past, during the four-day period, USO has rolled its positions in Oil Futures Contracts in the first month prior to the end of the month to avoid such contracts’ expiration and having to take delivery of the underlying commodity.

USO continues this monthly roll process with respect to its portfolio holdings, notwithstanding that its investments may not be concentrated in the first month futures contract, as is the case as of the date of this 10-K (but which may not be the case in the future when USO’s futures holdings will primarily consist of the near month Benchmark Oil Futures Contract). Currently, USO rolls and rebalances its portfolio to: (1) sell the earliest month of the futures contracts that it holds, (2) rebalance its portfolio in a manner that allows it to meet market conditions, regulatory requirements and other factors described herein, and (3) structure its investments within the foregoing limits in a way that allows USO to best pursue its stated investment objective.

In May of 2020, USO extended the monthly roll/rebalancing period from a four-day period to a ten-day period due to the size and diversification of its portfolio holdings and to address regulatory concerns. During the ten-day roll or rebalance period, USO will close certain existing positions, e.g., when it changes the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract and sells contracts that will expire at the end of the month, or when it sells Oil Futures Contracts to address the market conditions, regulatory requirements and other factors discussed herein, and reinvests the proceeds in new Oil Futures Contracts or Other Oil-Related Investments.

The change from a four-day roll to a ten-day roll, whether or not USO holds any Benchmark Oil Futures Contacts at the time of the roll, did not change USO’s benchmark or its investment objective other than as described herein. The Benchmark Oil Futures Contract remains the futures contract on light, sweet crude oil as traded on the NYMEX for the first month before the roll period. During the roll period, the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract will proportionately change each day of the roll to the futures contract on light, sweet crude oil as traded on the NYMEX for the second month, until the roll is completed.

Typically, on each day during the ten-day roll period, USO intends to rebalance approximately 1/10th of the announced percentage of the notional value of its nearest month instrument and other specified instruments (which could be 100% of such notional value of such interests) and reinvest the proceeds in the remaining current portfolio holdings as well as further-dated contracts and any new specified portfolio holdings. In addition, USO may need to adjust the roll/rebalance in light of market conditions, regulatory requirements, risk mitigation measures (including those that may be taken by USO, USO’s FCMs, counterparties or other market participants), or other factors that impact the ability of USO to make its investments and achievement its investment objective.

USO will roll its positions during the first 10 trading days of each subsequent month. The anticipated dates that the monthly roll period will commence are posted on USO’s website at www.uscfinvestments.com, and are subject to change without notice.

USO’s total portfolio composition is disclosed on its website each business day that the NYSE Arca is open for trading. The website disclosure of portfolio holdings is made daily and includes, as applicable, the name and value of each Oil Interest, the specific types of Other Oil-Related Investments and characteristics of such Other Oil-Related Investments, the name and value of each Treasury and cash equivalent, and the amount of cash held in USO’s portfolio. USO’s website is publicly accessible at no charge. USO’s assets used for margin and collateral are held in segregated accounts pursuant to the Commodity Exchange Act (the “CEA”) and CFTC regulations.

As described above, beginning with the monthly roll in September 2023 and ending with the monthly roll in January 2024, USO began transitioning its investment portfolio so that it primarily invests in Benchmark Oil Futures Contracts, consistent with USO’s investment strategy prior to 2020. However, USO has had, and will continue to have, the ability to invest in Oil Futures Contracts beyond the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract and Other Oil-Related Investments, such as OTC swaps, and USO may make such investments if market conditions, regulatory requirements, risk mitigation measures (including those that may be taken by USO, USO’s FCMs, counterparties or other market participants), liquidity requirements, or other factors require USO to do so in order to meet its investment objective.

USO’s holdings could change as a result of any or all of the following:

the need to comply with regulatory requirements (including, but not limited to, exchange accountability levels and position limits imposed by NYMEX as well as statutory or regulatory limits);
market conditions (including but not limited to those allowing USO to obtain greater liquidity (i.e., liquidity requirements) or to execute transactions with more favorable pricing); or

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risk mitigation measures, including those that may be taken by USO, USO’s FCMs, counterparties or other market participants, that limit USO from investing in particular crude oil futures contracts.

These conditions could limit USO’s ability to have a substantial portion of its assets invested in the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract and certain other Oil Futures Contracts of the same month, such as the ICE WTI Contract.

Creation and Redemption Baskets.

The shares issued by USO may only be purchased by Authorized Participants and only in blocks of 100,000 shares, called “Creation Baskets”. The amount of the purchase payment for a Creation Basket is equal to the aggregate NAV of the shares in the Creation Basket. Similarly, only Authorized Participants may redeem shares and only in blocks of 100,000 shares, called “Redemption Baskets”. The amount of the redemption proceeds for a Redemption Basket is equal to the aggregate NAV of shares in the Redemption Basket. The purchase price for Creation Baskets and the redemption price for Redemption Baskets are the actual NAV calculated at the end of the business day when a request for a purchase or redemption is received by USO. The NYSE Arca publishes an approximate per share NAV intra-day based on the prior day’s per share NAV and the current price of the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract and Other Oil-Related Investments held by USO, but the price of Creation Baskets and Redemption Baskets is determined based on the actual per share NAV calculated at the end of the day.

While USO issues shares only in Creation Baskets, shares are listed on the NYSE Arca and investors may purchase and sell shares at market prices like any listed security.

What is USO’s Investment Strategy?

In managing USO’s assets, USCF does not use a technical trading system that issues buy and sell orders. USCF instead employs a quantitative methodology whereby each time a Creation Basket is sold, USCF purchases Oil Interests, such as the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract and other Oil Futures Contracts, that have an aggregate market value that approximates the amount of Treasuries and/or cash received upon the issuance of the Creation Basket.

USO intends to continue to pursue its investment objective as described above. By remaining invested as fully as possible in Oil Futures Contracts or Other Oil-Related Investments, USCF believes that the daily changes in percentage terms of USO’s NAV will continue to closely track the daily changes in percentage terms in the price of the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract. USCF believes that certain arbitrage opportunities result in the price of the shares traded on the NYSE Arca closely tracking the per share NAV of USO. Additionally, daily changes in the price of the Benchmark Oil Futures Contracts have closely tracked the daily changes in the spot price of light, sweet crude oil. Based on these expected interrelationships, USCF believes that the daily changes in the price of USO’s shares as traded on the NYSE Arca, on a percentage basis, have closely tracked and will continue to closely track the changes in the spot price of light, sweet crude oil on a percentage basis. For performance data relating to USO’s ability to track its benchmark, see “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations – Tracking USO’s Benchmark” in this annual report on Form 10-K.

USO seeks to invest in a combination of Oil Interests such that the daily changes in its NAV, measured in percentage terms, will closely track the daily changes in the price of the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract, also measured in percentage terms. As a specific benchmark, USCF endeavors to place USO’s trades in Oil Interests and otherwise manage USO’s investments so that “A” will be within plus/minus ten percent (10%) of “B”, where:

A is the average daily percentage change in USO’s per share NAV for any period of 30 successive valuation days; i.e., any NYSE Arca trading day as of which USO calculates its per share NAV; and
B is the average daily percentage change in the price of the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract over the same period.

USCF believes that market arbitrage opportunities will cause the daily changes in USO’s share price on the NYSE Arca on a percentage basis to closely track the daily changes in USO’s per share NAV. USCF further believes that the daily changes in USO’s NAV in percentage terms will closely track the daily changes in percentage terms in the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract, plus interest earned on USO’s collateral holdings, less USO’s expenses. However, investors should be aware that USO would meet its investment objective even if there are significant deviations between changes in its daily NAV and changes in the daily price of the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract provided that the average daily percentage change in USO’s NAV over 30 successive valuation days is within plus/minus ten percent (10%) of the average daily percentage change in the price of the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract over the same period. For

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performance data relating to USO’s ability to track its benchmark, see “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations – Tracking USO’s Benchmark” in this annual report on Form 10-K.

USO’s purchase of Oil Futures Contracts other than the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract, and/or Other Oil-Related Investments, if any, depends on various factors, including diversification of USO’s investments in futures contracts with respect to the month of expiration and the prevailing price volatility of particular contracts. While USCF has made significant investments in NYMEX Oil Futures Contracts, for various reasons, including the ability to enter into the precise amount of exposure to the crude oil market, position limits or other regulatory requirements limiting USO’s holdings, and market conditions, it has and may continue to invest in Oil Futures Contracts traded on other exchanges and invest in Other Oil-Related Investments. To the extent that USO invests in Other Oil-Related Investments, it prioritizes investments in contracts and instruments that are economically equivalent to the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract, including cleared swaps that satisfy such criteria, and then, to a lesser extent, it may invest in other types of cleared swaps and other contracts, instruments and non-cleared swaps, such as swaps in the over-the-counter market (or commonly referred to as the “OTC market”). If USO is required by law or regulation, or by one of its regulators, including a futures exchange, to reduce its position in the Benchmark Oil Futures Contracts to the applicable position limit or to a specified accountability level or if market conditions dictate it would be more appropriate to invest in Other Oil-Related Investments, a substantial portion of USO’s assets could be invested in accordance with such priority in Oil Futures Contracts other than the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract or oil futures contracts issued by NYMEX and ICE Futures with the same months and Other Oil-Related Investments that are intended to replicate the return on the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract. As USO’s assets reach higher levels, it is more likely to exceed position limits, accountability levels or other regulatory limits and, as a result, it is more likely that it will invest in accordance with such priority in Other Oil-Related Investments at such higher levels. In addition, market conditions that USCF currently anticipates could cause USO to invest in Other Oil-Related Investments include those allowing USO to obtain greater liquidity or to execute transactions with more favorable pricing. See “Risk Factors Involved with an Investment in USO” for a discussion of the potential impact of regulation on USO’s ability to invest in OTC transactions and cleared swaps.

What is the Crude Oil Market and the Petroleum-Based Fuel Market?

USO may purchase Oil Futures Contracts traded on the NYMEX that are based on light, sweet crude oil. It may also purchase contracts on the ICE Futures or other U.S. and foreign exchanges. The NYMEX contracts provide for delivery of several grades of domestic and internationally traded foreign crudes, and, among other things, serves the diverse needs of the physical market. In Europe, Brent crude oil is the standard for futures contracts and is primarily traded on the ICE Futures Europe. Brent crude oil is the price reference for two-thirds of the world’s traded oil. The ICE Brent Futures is a deliverable contract with an option to cash settle which trades in units of 1,000 barrels (42,000 U.S. gallons). The ICE Futures also offers a West Texas Intermediate (“WTI”) crude oil futures contract which trades in units of 1,000 barrels. The WTI crude oil futures contract is cash settled against the prevailing market price for U.S. light sweet crude oil.

Light, Sweet Crude Oil. Light, sweet crudes are preferred by refiners because of their low sulfur content and relatively high yields of high-value products such as gasoline, diesel fuel, diesel-heating oil, and jet fuel. The price of light, sweet crude oil has historically exhibited periods of significant volatility.

Demand for petroleum products by consumers, as well as agricultural, manufacturing and transportation industries, determines demand for crude oil by refiners. Since the precursors of product demand are linked to economic activity, crude oil demand will tend to reflect economic conditions. However, other factors such as weather also influence product and crude oil demand.

Crude oil supply is determined by both economic and political factors. Oil prices (along with drilling costs, availability of attractive prospects for drilling, taxes and technology, among other factors) determine exploration and development spending, which influence output capacity with a lag. In the short run, production decisions by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (“OPEC”) also affect supply and prices. Oil export embargoes and geopolitical risk associated with wars, terrorist attacks and tensions between countries, including sanctions imposed as a result of the foregoing, represent other routes through which political developments move the market. It is not possible to predict the aggregate effect of all or any combination of these factors.

Diesel-Heating Oil. Diesel-heating oil, also known as No. 2 fuel oil, accounts for 25% of the yield of a barrel of crude oil, the second largest “cut” from oil after gasoline. The diesel-heating oil futures contract listed and traded on the NYMEX trades in units of 42,000 gallons (1,000 barrels) and is based on delivery in the New York harbor, the principal cash market center. The ICE Futures also offers a diesel-heating oil futures contract which trades in units of 42,000 U.S. gallons (1,000 barrels). The diesel-heating oil futures contract is cash-settled against the prevailing market price for diesel-heating oil delivered to the New York Harbor.

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Gasoline. Gasoline is the largest single volume refined product sold in the U.S. and accounts for almost half of national oil consumption. The gasoline futures contract listed and traded on the NYMEX trades in units of 42,000 gallons (1,000 barrels) and is based on delivery at petroleum products terminals in the New York harbor, the major East Coast trading center for imports and domestic shipments from refineries in the New York harbor area or from the Gulf Coast refining centers. The price of gasoline has historically been volatile.

Natural Gas. Natural gas accounts for almost a quarter of U.S. energy consumption. The natural gas futures contract listed and traded on the NYMEX trades in units of 10,000 million British thermal units and is based on delivery at the Henry Hub in Louisiana, the nexus of 16 intra- and interstate natural gas pipeline systems that draw supplies from the region’s prolific gas deposits. The pipelines serve markets throughout the U.S. East Coast, the Gulf Coast, the Midwest, and up to the Canadian border. The price of natural gas has historically been volatile.

What are Oil Futures Contracts?

Futures contracts are agreements between two parties. One party agrees to buy a commodity such as crude oil from the other party at a later date at a price and quantity agreed upon when the contract is made. Oil Futures Contracts are traded on futures exchanges, including the NYMEX. For example, the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract is traded on the NYMEX in units of 1,000 barrels. Oil Futures Contracts traded on the NYMEX are priced by floor brokers and other exchange members both through an “open outcry” of offers to purchase or sell the contracts and through an electronic, screen-based system that determines the price by matching electronically offers to purchase and sell. Additional risks of investing in Oil Futures Contracts are included in “Item 1A. Risk Factors” in this annual report on Form 10-K.

Accountability Levels, Position Limits and Price Fluctuation Limits. Designated contract markets (“DCMs”), such as the NYMEX and ICE Futures, have established accountability levels and position limits on the maximum net long or net short futures contracts in commodity interests that any person or group of persons under common trading control (other than as a hedge, which an investment by USO is not) may hold, own or control. These levels and position limits apply to the futures contracts that USO invests in to meet its investment objective. In addition to accountability levels and position limits, the NYMEX and ICE Futures may also set daily price limits on futures contracts. The daily price fluctuation limit establishes the maximum amount that the price of a futures contract may vary either up or down from the previous day’s settlement price. Once the daily price fluctuation limit has been reached in a particular futures contract, no trades may be made at a price beyond that limit.

The accountability levels for the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract and other Oil Futures Contracts traded on U.S.-based futures exchanges, such as the NYMEX, are not a fixed ceiling, but rather a threshold above which the NYMEX may exercise greater scrutiny and control over an investor’s positions. The NYMEX current accountability level for investments for any one-month in the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract is 10,000 contracts. In addition, the NYMEX imposes an accountability level for all months of 20,000 net futures contracts for light, sweet crude oil. In addition, the ICE Futures Europe maintains the same accountability levels, position limits and monitoring authority for its futures contracts for light, sweet crude oil contract as the NYMEX. If USO and the Related Public Funds exceed these accountability levels for investments in the futures contracts for light, sweet crude oil, the NYMEX and ICE Futures Europe will monitor such exposure and may ask for further information on their activities, including the total size of all positions, investment and trading strategy, and the extent of liquidity resources of USO and the Related Public Funds. If deemed necessary by the NYMEX and/or ICE Futures Europe, USO could be ordered to reduce its net futures contracts back to the accountability level.

As of December 31, 2023, USO held 18,103 NYMEX WTI Crude Oil Futures CL contracts and did not hold any ICE WTI Crude Oil Futures contracts. USO exceeded accountability levels of the NYMEX during the year ended December 31, 2023, including when it held a maximum of 21,570 Crude Oil Futures CL contracts, on the NYMEX, exceeding the “any” month limit.

Position limits differ from accountability levels in that they represent fixed limits on the maximum number of futures contracts that any person may hold and cannot be exceeded without express CFTC authority to do so. In addition to accountability levels and position limits that may apply at any time, the NYMEX and ICE Futures impose position limits on contracts held in the last few days of trading in the near month contract to expire. Investors should note that the foregoing accountability levels and position limits are subject to change, which in turn could change the amount and type of permitted investments in which USO invests.

For the year ended December 31, 2023, USO did not exceed any position limits imposed by the NYMEX and ICE Futures. The foregoing accountability levels and position limits are subject to change. Due to evolving market conditions, remaining within relevant accountability levels and position limits, and, additional or different risk mitigation measures taken by USO’s FCM with respect to USO has invested and acquiring additional Oil Futures contracts, USO has invested and intends to invest in other permitted investments, beyond the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract.

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Part 150 of the CFTC’s regulations (the “Position Limits Rule”) establishes federal position limits for 25 core referenced futures contracts (comprised of agricultural, energy and metals futures contracts), futures and options linked to the core referenced futures contracts, and swaps that are economically equivalent to the core referenced futures contracts that all market participants must comply with, with certain exemptions.

The Benchmark Oil Futures Contract is subject to position limits under the Position Limits Rule, and USO’s trading does not qualify for an exemption therefrom. Accordingly, the Position Limits Rule could inhibit USO’s ability to invest in the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract and thereby could negatively impact the ability of USO to meet its investment objective.

USO has not limited the size of its offering and intends to utilize substantially all of its proceeds to purchase Oil Futures Contracts and Other Oil-Related Investments to the extent possible. If USO encounters accountability levels, position limits (including those set by the Position Limits Rule), or price fluctuation limits for Oil Futures Contracts on the NYMEX or ICE Futures, it may then, if permitted under applicable regulatory requirements, purchase Oil Futures Contracts on other exchanges that trade listed crude oil futures or enter into swaps or other permitted investments to meet its investment objective. In addition, if USO exceeds accountability levels on either the NYMEX or ICE Futures and is required by such exchanges to reduce its holdings, such reduction could potentially cause a tracking error between the price of USO’s shares and the price of the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract.

Price Volatility. The price volatility of Oil Futures Contracts generally has been historically greater than that for traditional securities such as stocks and bonds. Price volatility often is greater day-to-day as opposed to intra-day. Oil Futures Contracts tend to be more volatile than stocks and bonds because price movements for crude oil are more currently and directly influenced by economic factors for which current data is available and are traded by crude oil futures traders throughout the day. Because USO invests a significant portion of its assets in Oil Futures Contracts, the assets of USO, and therefore the prices of USO shares, may be subject to greater volatility than traditional securities.

Marking-to-Market Futures Positions. Oil Futures Contracts are marked to market at the end of each trading day and the margin required with respect to such contracts is adjusted accordingly. This process of marking-to-market is designed to prevent losses from accumulating in any futures account. Therefore, if USO’s futures positions have declined in value, USO may be required to post “variation margin” to cover this decline. Alternatively, if USO’s futures positions have increased in value, this increase will be credited to USO’s account.

Why Does USO Purchase and Sell Oil Futures Contracts?

USO’s investment objective is for the daily percentage changes in the NAV per share to reflect the daily percentage changes of the spot price of light, sweet crude oil, as measured by the daily percentage changes in the price of Benchmark Oil Futures Contract, plus interest earned on USO’s collateral holdings, less USO’s expenses. USO seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing so that the average daily percentage change in USO’s NAV for any period of 30 successive valuation days will be within plus/minus ten percent (10%) of the average daily percentage change in the price of the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract over the same period. As a result, investors should be aware that USO would meet its investment objective even if there are significant deviations between changes in its daily NAV and changes in the daily price of the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract provided that the average daily percentage change in USO’s NAV over 30 successive valuation days is within plus/minus ten percent (10%) of the average daily percentage change in the price of the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract over the same period. USO’s investment strategy is designed to provide investors with a cost-effective way to invest indirectly in crude oil and to hedge against movements in the spot price of light, sweet crude oil.

In connection with investing in Oil Futures Contracts and Other Oil-Related Investments, USO holds Treasuries, cash and/or cash equivalents that serve as segregated assets supporting USO’s positions in Oil Futures Contracts and Other Oil-Related Investments. For example, the purchase of an Oil Futures Contract with a stated value of $10 million would not require USO to pay $10 million upon entering into the contract; rather, only a margin deposit, generally of 5% to 30% of the stated value of the Oil Futures Contract, would be required. To secure its Oil Futures Contract obligations, USO would deposit the required margin with the FCMs and would separately hold, through its Custodian, Treasuries, cash and/or cash equivalents in an amount equal to the balance of the current market value of the contract, which at the contract’s inception would be $10 million minus the amount of the margin deposit, or $9 million (assuming a 10% margin).

As a result of the foregoing, typically 5% to 30% of USO’s assets are held as margin in segregated accounts with an FCM. In addition to the Treasuries and cash it posts with the FCMs for the Oil Futures Contracts it owns, USO may hold, through the Custodian, Treasuries, cash and/or cash equivalents that can be posted as additional margin or as other collateral to support its OTC contracts. USO earns income from the Treasuries and/or cash equivalents that it purchases, and on the cash it holds through the Custodian or FCM. USO

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anticipates that the earned income will increase the NAV and limited partners’ capital contribution accounts. USO reinvests the earned income, holds it in cash, or uses it to pay its expenses. If USO reinvests the earned income, it makes investments that are consistent with its investment objective.

What are the Trading Policies of USO?

Liquidity

USO invests only in Oil Futures Contracts and Other Oil-Related Investments that, in the opinion of USCF, are traded in sufficient volume to permit the ready taking and liquidation of positions in these financial interests and in Other Oil-Related Investments that, in the opinion of USCF, may be readily liquidated with the original counterparty or through a third party assuming the position of USO.

Spot Commodities

While the Oil Futures Contracts and Other Oil-Related Investments traded can be physically settled, USO does not intend to take or make physical delivery. USO may from time to time trade in Other Oil-Related Investments, including contracts based on the spot price of crude oil.

Leverage

Although permitted to do so under its LP Agreement, USO has not leveraged, and does not intend to leverage, its assets through borrowings or otherwise, and makes its investments accordingly. Consistent with the foregoing, USO’s investments will take into account the need for USO to maintain adequate liquidity to meet its margin and collateral requirements and to avoid, to the extent reasonably possible, USO becoming leveraged. If market conditions require it, these risk reduction procedures, including changes to USO’s investments, may occur on short notice.

USO does not and will not borrow money or use debt to satisfy its margin or collateral obligations in respect of its investments, but it could become leveraged if USO were to hold insufficient assets that would allow it to meet not only the current, but also future, margin or collateral obligations required for such investments. Such a circumstance could occur if USO were to hold assets that have a value of less than zero.

USCF endeavors to have the value of USO’s Treasuries, cash and cash equivalents, whether held by USO or posted as margin or other collateral, at all times approximate the aggregate market value of its obligations under its Oil Futures Contracts and Other Oil-Related Investments.

Borrowings

Borrowings are not used by USO, unless USO is required to borrow money in the event of physical delivery, if USO trades in cash commodities, or for short-term needs created by unexpected redemptions.

OTC Derivatives (Including Spreads and Straddles)

In addition to Oil Futures Contracts, there are also a number of listed options on the Oil Futures Contracts on the principal futures exchanges. These contracts offer investors and hedgers another set of financial vehicles to use in managing exposure to the crude oil market. Consequently, USO may purchase options on crude Oil Futures Contracts on these exchanges in pursuing its investment objective.

In addition to the Oil Futures Contracts and options on the Oil Futures Contracts, there also exists an active non-exchange-traded market in derivatives tied to crude oil. These derivatives transactions (also known as OTC contracts) are usually entered into between two parties in private contracts. Unlike most of the exchange-traded Oil Futures Contracts or exchange-traded options on the Oil Futures Contracts, each party to such contract bears the credit risk of the other party, i.e., the risk that the other party may not be able to perform its obligations under its contract.

To reduce the credit risk that arises in connection with such contracts, USO will generally enter into an agreement with each counterparty based on the Master Agreement published by the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, Inc. (“ISDA”) that provides for the netting of its overall exposure to its counterparty and requires the posting by each party to cover the mark-to-market exposure of a counterparty to the other counterparty.

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USCF assesses or reviews, as appropriate, the creditworthiness of each potential or existing counterparty to an OTC contract pursuant to guidelines approved by USCF’s Board.

USO may enter into certain transactions where an OTC component is exchanged for a corresponding futures contract (“Exchange for Related Position” or “EFRP” transactions). In the most common type of EFRP transaction entered into by USO, the OTC component is the purchase or sale of one or more baskets of USO’s shares. These EFRP transactions may expose USO to counterparty risk during the interim period between the execution of the OTC component and the exchange for a corresponding futures contract. Generally, the counterparty risk from the EFRP transaction will exist only on the day of execution.

USO may employ spreads or straddles in its trading to mitigate the differences in its investment portfolio and its goal of tracking the price of the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract. USO would use a spread when it chooses to take simultaneous long and short positions in futures written on the same underlying asset, but with different delivery months.

During the reporting period of this annual report on Form 10-K, USO’s OTC transactions comprised OTC swaps intended to reflect the return on USO’s investments in Oil Futures Contracts and EFRP transactions.

Pyramiding

USO has not employed and will not employ the technique, commonly known as pyramiding, in which the speculator uses unrealized profits on existing positions as variation margin for the purchase or sale of additional positions in the same or another commodity interest.

Who are the Service Providers?

Custodian, Registrar, Transfer Agent, and Administrator

USCF engaged The Bank of New York Mellon (“BNY Mellon”), a New York corporation authorized to do a banking business (“BNY Mellon”), to provide USO and each of the Related Public Funds with certain custodial, administrative and accounting, and transfer agency services, pursuant to the following agreements with BNY Mellon dated as of March 20, 2020 (together, the “BNY Mellon Agreements”), which were effective as of April 1, 2020: (i) a Custody Agreement; (ii) a Fund Administration and Accounting Agreement; and (iii) a Transfer Agency and Service Agreement. USCF pays the fees of BNY Mellon for its services under the BNY Mellon Agreements and such fees are determined by the parties from time to time.

Brown Brothers Harriman and Co. (“BBH&Co.”) previously served as the Administrator, Custodian, Transfer Agent and Fund Accounting Agent for USO and the Related Public Funds prior to BNY Mellon commencing such services on April 1, 2020. Certain fund accounting and fund administration services rendered by BBH&Co. to USO and the Related Public Funds terminated on May 31, 2020 to allow for the transition to BNY Mellon.

Marketing Agent

USO also employs ALPS Distributors as its marketing agent. USCF pays the Marketing Agent an annual fee. In no event may the aggregate compensation paid to the Marketing Agent and any affiliate of USCF for distribution-related services in connection with the offering of shares exceed ten percent (10%) of the gross proceeds of the offering.

ALPS Distributors’ principal business address is 1290 Broadway, Suite 1100, Denver, CO 80203. ALPS Distributors is a broker-dealer registered with the SEC and is a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) and a member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation.

Payments to Certain Third Parties

USCF or the Marketing Agent, or an affiliate of USCF or the Marketing Agent, may directly or indirectly make cash payments to certain broker-dealers for participating in activities that are designed to make registered representatives and other professionals more knowledgeable about exchange-traded funds and exchange-traded products, including USO and the Related Public Funds, or for other activities, such as participation in marketing activities and presentations, educational training programs, conferences, the development of technology platforms and reporting systems.

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Additionally, pursuant to written agreements, USCF may make payments, out of its own resources, to financial intermediaries in exchange for providing services in connection with the sale or servicing of USO’s shares, including waiving commissions on the purchase or sale of shares of participating exchange-traded products.

Payments to a broker-dealer or intermediary may create potential conflicts of interest between the broker-dealer or intermediary and its clients. The amounts described above, which may be significant, are paid by USCF and/or the Marketing Agent from their own resources and not from the assets of USO or the Related Public Funds.

Futures Commission Merchants

RBC Capital Markets LLC

On October 8, 2013, USCF entered into a Futures and Cleared Derivatives Transactions Customer Account Agreement with RBC Capital Markets, LLC (“RBC Capital” or “RBC”) to serve as USO’s FCM, effective October 10, 2013. This agreement requires RBC Capital to provide services to USO, as of October 10, 2013, in connection with the purchase and sale of Oil Futures Contracts and Other Oil-Related Investments that may be purchased or sold by or through RBC Capital for USO’s account. For the period October 10, 2013 and after, USO pays RBC Capital commissions for executing and clearing trades on behalf of USO.

RBC Capital’s primary address is 200 Vesey St., New York, NY 10281. Effective October 10, 2013, RBC Capital became the futures clearing broker for USO. RBC Capital is registered in the United States with FINRA as a broker-dealer and with the CFTC as an FCM. RBC Capital is a member of various U.S. futures and securities exchanges.

RBC Capital is a large broker dealer subject to many different complex legal and regulatory requirements. As a result, certain of RBC Capital’s regulators may from time to time conduct investigations, initiate enforcement proceedings and/or enter into settlements with RBC Capital with respect to issues raised in various investigations. RBC Capital complies fully with its regulators in all investigations being conducted and in all settlements it reaches. In addition, RBC Capital is and has been subject to a variety of civil legal claims in various jurisdictions, a variety of settlement agreements and a variety of orders, awards and judgments made against it by courts and tribunals, both in regard to such claims and investigations. RBC Capital complies fully with all settlements it reaches and all orders, awards and judgments made against it.

RBC Capital has been named as a defendant in various legal actions, including arbitrations, class actions and other litigation including those described below, arising in connection with its activities. Certain of the actual or threatened legal actions include claims for substantial compensatory and/or punitive damages or claims for indeterminate amounts of damages. RBC Capital is also involved, in other reviews, investigations and proceedings (both formal and informal) by governmental and self-regulatory agencies regarding RBC Capital’s business, including among other matters, accounting and operational matters, certain of which may result in adverse judgments, settlements, fines, penalties, injunctions or other relief.

RBC Capital contests liability and/or the amount of damages as appropriate in each pending matter. In view of the inherent difficulty of predicting the outcome of such matters, particularly in cases where claimants seek substantial or indeterminate damages or where investigations and proceedings are in the early stages, RBC Capital cannot predict the loss or range of loss, if any, related to such matters; how or if such matters will be resolved; when they will ultimately be resolved; or what the eventual settlement, fine, penalty or other relief, if any, might be. Subject to the foregoing, RBC Capital believes, based on current knowledge and after consultation with counsel, that the outcome of such pending matters will not have a material adverse effect on the consolidated financial condition of RBC Capital.

On April 27, 2017, pursuant to an offer of settlement, a Panel of the Chicago Board of Trade Business Conduct Committee (“Panel”) found that RBC Capital engaged in EFRP transactions which failed to satisfy the Rules of the Chicago Board of Trade (the “Chicago Board of Trade”) in one or more ways. Specifically, the Panel found that RBC Capital traders entered into EFRP trades in which RBC Capital accounts were on both sides of the transactions. While the purpose of the transactions was to transfer positions between the RBC Capital accounts, the Panel found that the manner in which the trades occurred violated the Chicago Board of Trade’s prohibition on wash trades. The Panel found that RBC Capital thereby violated CBOT Rules 534 and (legacy) 538.B. and C. In accordance with the settlement offer, the Panel ordered RBC Capital to pay a $175,000 fine. On October 1, 2019, the CFTC issued an order filing and settling charges against RBC Capital for the above activity, as well as related charges. The order required that RBC Capital cease and desist from violating the applicable regulations, pay a $5 million civil monetary penalty, and comply with various conditions, including conditions regarding public statements and future cooperation with the CFTC.

Various regulators are conducting inquiries regarding potential violations of antitrust law by a number of banks and other entities, including RBC Capital, regarding foreign exchange trading. Beginning in 2015, putative class actions were brought against RBC Capital

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and/or Royal Bank of Canada, RBC Capital’s indirect parent, in the U.S. and Canada. These actions were each brought against multiple foreign exchange dealers and allege, among other things, collusive behavior in global foreign exchange trading. In August 2018, the U.S. District Court entered a final order approving RBC Capital’s settlement with class plaintiffs. In November 2018, certain institutional plaintiffs who had previously opted-out of participating in the settlement filed their own lawsuit in U.S. District Court. In May 2020, the U.S. District Court dismissed RBC Capital from the opt-out action, but granted the plaintiffs’ motion to amend the complaint. The Canadian class actions remain pending and RBC Capital has reached a settlement for an immaterial amount with respect to an action brought by a class of indirect purchasers. RBC Capital is awaiting the court’s final approval of the settlement. In October 2020, RBC Capital and Royal Bank of Canada moved to dismiss the amended complaint. On July 28, 2021, the court dismissed Royal Bank of Canada from the case but denied the motion as to RBC Capital. Based on the facts currently known, it is not possible at this time for management to predict the ultimate outcome of these collective matters or the timing of their ultimate resolution.

On April 13, 2015, RBC Capital’s affiliate, Royal Bank of Canada Trust Company (Bahamas) Limited (“RBC Bahamas”), was charged in France with complicity in tax fraud. RBC Bahamas believes that its actions did not violate French law and contested the charge in the French court. The trial of this matter has concluded and a verdict was delivered on January 12, 2017, acquitting the company and the other defendants and on June 29, 2018, the French appellate court affirmed the acquittals. On January 6, 2021, the French Supreme Court issued a judgment reversing the decision of the French Court of Appeal dated June 29, 2018 and sent the case back to the French Court of Appeal for rehearing and therefore the proceeding is currently awaiting a new trial with the French Court of Appeal.

Royal Bank of Canada and other panel banks for the setting of the U.S. dollar London interbank offered rate (“LIBOR”) have been named as defendants in private lawsuits filed in the U.S. with respect to the setting of U.S. dollar LIBOR including a number of class action lawsuits which have been consolidated before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. RBC Capital has also been named as a defendant in one of those lawsuits. The complaints in those private lawsuits assert claims under various U.S. laws, including U.S. antitrust laws, the U.S. Commodity Exchange Act, and state law. In addition to the LIBOR actions, in January 2019, a number of financial institutions, including RBC Capital, were named in a purported class action in New York alleging violations of the U.S. antitrust laws and common law principles of unjust enrichment in the setting of LIBOR after the Intercontinental Exchange took over administration of the benchmark interest rate from the British Bankers’ Association in 2014 (the “ICE LIBOR action”). On March 26, 2020, the defendants’ motion to dismiss the ICE LIBOR action was granted. The plaintiffs filed a notice of appeal of that ruling to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on April 24, 2020 and, thereafter, sought to substitute named plaintiffs. The Second Circuit permitted substitution, but has not yet ruled on the merits of the appeal. In August 2020, Royal Bank of Canada and other financial institutions were named as defendants in a separate, individual (i.e., non-class) action filed in California alleging that the usage and setting of LIBOR constitutes per se collusive conduct. In November 2020 and May 2021, plaintiffs sought a preliminary injunction with respect to the setting of ICE LIBOR; defendants opposed these motions and sought to transfer the matter to New York. On June 3, 2021, the court denied defendants’ motion to transfer. Defendants then moved to dismiss. Plaintiffs’ motions for a preliminary injunction and defendants’ motion to dismiss remain pending. Based on the facts currently known, it is not possible at this time to predict the ultimate outcome of these proceedings or the timing of their resolution.

Please see RBC Capital’s Form BD, which is available on the FINRA BrokerCheck program, for more details.

RBC Capital will act only as clearing broker for USO and as such will be paid commissions for executing and clearing trades on behalf of USO. RBC Capital has not passed upon the adequacy or accuracy of this annual report on Form 10-K. RBC Capital will not act in any supervisory capacity with respect to USCF or participate in the management of USCF or USO.

RBC Capital is not affiliated with USO or USCF. Therefore, neither USCF nor USO believes that there are any conflicts of interest with RBC Capital or its trading principals arising from its acting as USO’s FCM.

Marex Capital Markets, Inc., formerly E D & F Man Capital Markets Inc.

On June 5, 2020, USO entered into a Customer Account Agreement with E D & F Man Capital Markets Inc. (“MCM”) to serve as an FCM for USO. On July 14, 2023, this Customer Account Agreement was terminated and replaced by a Customer Account Agreement between USO and Marex North America, LLC (“MNA”) dated May 28, 2020, in respect of which MCM assumed the rights and obligations of MNA vis-à-vis USO following the transfer of MNA’s futures clearing business to MCM as part of an internal reorganization. This agreement requires MCM to provide services to USO in connection with the purchase and sale of Oil Futures Contracts and Other Oil-Related Investments that may be purchased or sold by or through MCM for USO’s account. Under this agreement, USO pays MCM commissions for executing and clearing trades on behalf of USO.

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MCM’s primary address is 140 East 45th Street, 10th Floor, New York, NY 10017. MCM is registered in the United States with FINRA as a broker-dealer and with the CFTC as an FCM. MCM is a member of various U.S. futures and securities exchanges.

MCM is a large broker dealer subject to many different complex legal and regulatory requirements. As a result, certain of MCM’s regulators may from time to time conduct investigations, initiate enforcement proceedings and/or enter into settlements with MCM with respect to issues raised in various investigations. MCM complies fully with its regulators in all investigations which may be conducted and in all settlements it may reach. As of the date hereof, MCM has no material litigation to disclose as that term is defined under the CEA and the regulations promulgated thereunder.

MCM was acquired by the Marex Group in phases during the second half of 2022 and went from doing business as E D & F Man Capital Markets, Inc. to Marex Capital Markets, Inc.

MCM will act only as clearing broker for USO and as such will be paid commissions for executing and clearing trades on behalf of USO. MCM has not passed upon the adequacy or accuracy of this annual report on Form 10-K. MCM will not act in any supervisory capacity with respect to USCF or participate in the management of USCF or USO.

MCM is not affiliated with USO or USCF. Therefore, neither USCF nor USO believes that there are any conflicts of interest with MCM or its trading principals arising from its acting as USO’s FCM.

Macquarie Futures USA LLC

On December 3, 2020, USO engaged Macquarie Futures USA LLC (“MFUSA”) to serve as an additional futures commission merchant for USO. The Customer Agreement between USO and MFUSA requires MFUSA to provide services to USO in connection with the purchase and sale of futures contracts in Oil Futures Contracts and other Oil-Related Investments that may be purchased or sold by or through MFUSA for USO’s account. Under this agreement, USO pays MFUSA commissions for executing and clearing trades on behalf of USO.

MFUSA’s primary address is 125 West 55th Street, New York, NY 10019. MFUSA is registered in the United States with the CFTC as an FCM providing futures execution and clearing services covering futures exchanges globally. MFUSA is a member of various U.S. futures and securities exchanges.

MFUSA is a large broker dealer subject to many different complex legal and regulatory requirements. As a result, certain of MFUSA’s regulators may from time to time conduct investigations, initiate enforcement proceedings and/or enter into settlements with MFUSA with respect to issues raised in various investigations. MFUSA complies fully with its regulators in all investigations which may be conducted and in all settlements it may reach. As of the date hereof, MFUSA has no material litigation to disclose as that term is defined under the CEA and the regulations promulgated thereunder.

MFUSA will act only as clearing broker for USO and as such will be paid commissions for executing and clearing trades on behalf of USO. MFUSA has not passed upon the adequacy or accuracy of this annual report on Form 10-K. MFUSA will not act in any supervisory capacity with respect to USCF or participate in the management of USCF or USO.

MFUSA is not affiliated with USO or USCF. Therefore, neither USCF nor USO believes that there are any conflicts of interest with MFUSA or its trading principals arising from its acting as USO’s FCM.

ADM Investor Services, Inc.

On August 8, 2023, USO and ADM Investor Services, Inc. (“ADMIS”) entered into a Customer Account Agreement pursuant to which ADMIS has agreed to serve as an additional FCM for USO. The Customer Account Agreement between USO and ADMIS requires ADMIS to provide services to USO in connection with the purchase and sale of futures contracts that may be purchased or sold by or through ADMIS for USO’s account. Under this agreement, USO has agreed to pay ADMIS commissions for executing and clearing trades on behalf of USO.

ADMIS’s primary address is 141 W Jackson Boulevard, Suite 2100a, Chicago, IL 60604. ADMIS is registered in the United States with the CFTC as an FCM providing futures execution and clearing services covering futures exchanges globally. ADMIS is a member of various U.S. futures and securities exchanges.

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In the normal course of its business, ADMIS is involved in various legal actions incidental to its commodities business. None of these actions are expected either individually or in aggregate to have a material adverse impact on ADMIS.

Neither ADMIS nor any of its principals have been the subject of any material administrative, civil or criminal actions within the past five years, except for the following matters.

In an Order entered on July 12, 2019 the CFTC found that between December 2014 and September 24, 2017, ADMIS failed to diligently supervise the handling by its employees and agents of commodity interest accounts as well as the activities of its employees and agents relating to its business as an FCM in violation of CFTC Regulation 166.3. The order imposed a civil monetary penalty of $250,000.

On January 28, 2020, a Commodity Exchange Business Conduct Committee Panel (“Panel”) found that between 2012 and 2018, ADMIS learned that one of its brokerage firm clients automatically offset omnibus account positions in futures contracts using the FIFO method and was misreporting its open positions. The Panel found that ADMIS failed to require the client to provide accurate and timely owner and control information and continued to report inaccurate information regarding the ownership and control of the positions through May 2018 in violation of Exchange Rules 432.Q., 432.X., and 561.C. Additionally, on multiple occasions continuing through May 2018, ADMIS provided the Exchange with inaccurate audit trail data provided by the client. The Panel found that ADMIS violated Exchange Rule 536.B.2.

Finally, the Panel found that ADMIS failed to take effective measures to ensure the accuracy of its client’s purchase and sales data reporting and its responses to the Exchange, and failed to properly supervise employees. The Panel therefore found that ADMIS violated Exchange Rule 432.W. In accordance with an offer of settlement the Panel ordered ADMIS to pay a fine of $650,000.

In an order issued on September 29, 2022, the CFTC found that between December 2016 and September 2019, ADMIS failed to supervise its employees and agents in their handling of commodity interest accounts regarding the improper or fictitious trade transfer requests and their activities relating to its business as a registered FCM to ensure compliance with the Commodity Exchange Act and it Regulations, and to deter and detect wrongdoing in violation of CFTC Regulation 166.3. The order imposed a civil monetary fine of $500,000.

ADMIS will act only as clearing broker for USO and as such will be paid commissions for executing and clearing trades on behalf of USO. ADMIS has not passed upon the adequacy or accuracy of this annual report on Form 10-K. ADMIS will not act in any supervisory capacity with respect to USCF or participate in the management of USCF or USO.

ADMIS is not affiliated with USO or USCF. Therefore, neither USCF nor USO believes that there are any conflicts of interest with ADMIS or its trading principals arising from its acting as USO’s FCM.

Introducing Broker

On January 14, 2019, USCF entered into agreements with BTIG, LLC to serve as USO’s introducing broker. Under the agreements, BTIG, LLC provide services to USO in connection with the purchase and sale of Oil Futures Contracts and Other Oil-Related Investments that may be purchased or sold by or through RBC Capital for USO’s account. RBC pays BTIG, LLC in connection with certain trades on behalf of USO.

BTIG, LLC, whose principal address is 600 Montgomery Street, Sixth Floor, San Francisco, CA, 94111, will act as an introducing broker for USO’s futures trading. BTIG is registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as a broker-dealer, with the CFTC as an introducing broker, and is a member of FINRA and other regulatory agencies and exchanges. In the normal course of its regulated business activities, BTIG receives examinations, subpoenas, and inquiries from the regulatory organizations that oversee its various business activities. From January 2017 through December 2022, BTIG has not been involved in any material litigation.

BTIG, LLC is not affiliated with USO or USCF. Therefore, neither USCF nor USO believes that there will be any conflicts of interest with BTIG, LLC or its trading principals arising from its acting as USO’s introducing broker.

Swap Dealer

Macquarie Bank Limited

On November 30, 2021, USO entered into an ISDA 2002 Master Agreement (the “Macquarie ISDA”) with Macquarie Bank Limited, pursuant to which Macquarie Bank Limited has agreed to serve as an over-the-counter (“OTC”) swaps counterparty for USO. USO’s

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OTC swap transactions outstanding under the Macquarie ISDA, if any, along with USO’s other holdings, are posted on USO’s webpage, www.uscfinvestments.com.

Macquarie Bank Limited’s principal address is Ropemaker Place, 28 Ropemaker Street, London, EC2Y 9HD, England. Macquarie Bank Limited is registered with the CFTC as a swap dealer. As of the date hereof, Macquarie Bank Limited has no material litigation to disclose as that term is defined under the CEA and regulations promulgated thereunder.

Macquarie Bank Limited is not affiliated with USO or USCF. Therefore, neither USCF nor USO believes that there will be any conflicts of interest with Macquarie Bank Limited or its trading principals arising from Macquarie Bank Limited acting as an OTC swaps counterparty to USO.

Société Générale S.A.

On June 13, 2022, USO entered into an ISDA 2002 Master Agreement (the “SocGen ISDA”) with Société Générale S.A., pursuant to which Société Générale S.A. has agreed to serve as an OTC swaps counterparty for USO. USO’s OTC swap transactions outstanding under the SocGen ISDA, if any, along with USO’s other holdings, are posted on USO’s webpage, www.uscfinvestments.com.

Société Générale S.A.’s principal address is 17 Cours Valmy Paris la Defense, 92987 CEDEX France. Société Générale S.A. is registered with the CFTC as a swap dealer.

Société Générale S.A. is a large swap dealer subject to many different complex legal and regulatory requirements. As a result, certain of Société Générale S.A.’s regulators may from time to time conduct investigations, initiate enforcement proceedings and/or enter into settlements with Société Générale S.A. with respect to issues raised in various investigations. In addition, Société Générale S.A. is and has been subject to a variety of civil legal claims in various jurisdictions, a variety of settlement agreements and a variety of orders, awards and judgments made against it by courts and tribunals, both in regard to such claims and investigations. Listed below are the civil, administrative, and/or criminal proceedings pending, on appeal, or concluded against Société Générale S.A. in the past five (5) years that are material to Société Générale S.A. serving as an OTC swaps counterparty to USO.

Notwithstanding agreements reached in 2018 with United States authorities regarding certain London Interbank Offered Rates and the Euro Interbank Offered Rate (the “IBOR matter”) and the dismissal on 30 November 2021 of legal proceedings brought by the United States Department of Justice in this matter, Société Générale S.A. continues to defend civil proceedings in the United States and has responded to information requests received from other authorities, including the Attorneys General of various States of the United States and the New York Department of Financial Services.

In the United States, Société Générale S.A., along with other financial institutions, has been named as a defendant in putative class actions involving the setting of U.S. Dollar LIBOR, Japanese Yen LIBOR, and Euribor rates and trading in instruments indexed to those rates. Société Générale S.A. has also been named in several individual (non-class) actions concerning the U.S. Dollar LIBOR rate. All of these actions are pending in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

As to US Dollar LIBOR, all claims against Société Générale S.A. were dismissed by the District Court or voluntarily dismissed by the plaintiffs, except in two putative class actions and one individual action that are effectively stayed. The class plaintiffs and a number of individual plaintiffs appealed the dismissal of their antitrust claims to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (“Second Circuit”). On 30 December 2021, the Second Circuit reversed the dismissal and reinstated the antitrust claims. These reinstated claims include those asserted by a proposed class of OTC plaintiffs and by OTC plaintiffs that have filed individual actions.

As to Japanese Yen LIBOR, the District Court dismissed the complaint brought by purchasers of Euroyen OTC derivative products. On 1 April 2020, the Second Circuit reversed the dismissal and reinstated the claims. On 30 September 2021, the District Court dismissed plaintiffs’ Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act claims but upheld plaintiffs’ antitrust and state law claims against Société Générale S.A. In the other action, brought by purchasers or sellers of Euroyen derivative contracts on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange on 27 September 2019, plaintiff filed a motion for class certification. On 25 September 2020, the District Court granted defendants’ motion for judgment on the pleadings and dismissed plaintiffs’ remaining claims. Plaintiff has appealed to the Second Circuit.

As to Euribor, the District Court dismissed all claims against Société Générale S.A. in the putative class action and denied the plaintiffs’ motion to file a proposed amended complaint. Plaintiffs have appealed those rulings to the Second Circuit.

In Argentina, Société Générale S.A., along with other financial institutions, has been named as a defendant in litigation brought by a consumer association on behalf of Argentine consumers who held government bonds or other specified instruments that paid interest

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tied to US Dollar LIBOR. The allegations concern violations of Argentine consumer protection law in connection with alleged manipulation of the US Dollar LIBOR rate. Société Générale S.A. has not yet been served with the complaint in this matter.

On June 4, 2018, the CFTC issued an order filing and settling charges against Société Générale S.A. for attempted manipulation of and false reporting in connection with the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) for U.S. Dollar, Yen, and Euro, and the Euro Interbank Offered Rate (Euribor), certain instances of manipulation of Yen LIBOR, and aiding and abetting traders at another bank in their attempts to manipulate Euribor. The Bank’s misconduct spanned more than six years, from 2006 through mid-2012. The CFTC order required Société Générale to pay a civil monetary penalty of $475 million, cease and desist from further violations as charged, and adhere to specific undertakings to ensure the integrity of its LIBOR, Euribor, and other benchmark interest rate submissions in the future.

Beginning on 15 January 2019, Société Générale S.A. and SG Americas Securities, LLC, along with other financial institutions, were named in three putative antitrust class actions in the US District Court in Manhattan, which have since been consolidated. Plaintiffs allege that the USD ICE LIBOR panel banks conspired to make artificially low submissions to that benchmark in order to profit on their trading in derivatives tied to USD ICE LIBOR. Plaintiffs seek to certify a class comprised of US residents (individuals and entities) that transacted with a defendant in floating rate debt instruments or interest rate swaps tied to USD ICE LIBOR and received a payment at any time between 1 February 2014 to the present, regardless of when the instrument was purchased. By order dated 26 March 2020, the District Court dismissed the action. Plaintiffs appealed that ruling. On 6 April 2021, the Second Circuit permitted a new proposed class representative to intervene as a plaintiff in the appeal and denied defendants’ motion which sought dismissal of the appeal because the original proposed class representatives withdrew from the action.

Société Générale S.A., along with several other financial institutions, was named as a defendant in a putative class action alleging violations of US antitrust laws and the Commodity Exchange Act in connection with foreign exchange spot and derivatives trading. The action was brought by persons or entities that transacted in certain over-the-counter and exchange-traded foreign exchange instruments. Société Générale S.A. reached a settlement of USD 18 million, which was approved by the Court on 6 August 2018. On 7 November 2018, a group of individual entities that elected to opt out of the settlement filed a lawsuit against Société Générale S.A., SG Americas Securities, LLC and several other financial institutions. SG Americas Securities, LLC was dismissed by order dated 28 May 2020. Discovery is proceeding as to Société Générale S.A. and the other remaining defendants. On 11 November 2020, Société Générale S.A. was named, along with several other banks, in an action in the United Kingdom alleging collusion in the market for FX instruments. Société Générale S.A. is defending the action.

In May 2019, Société Générale Americas Securities (“SGAS”) was named, along with other financial institutions, as a defendant in a putative class action in the US alleging anticompetitive behavior in the pricing of agency bonds issued by USA Government Sponsored Enterprises (“GSEs”), including Federal Home Loan Bank, Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, and Federal National Mortgage Association. On 16 June 2020, SGAS and twelve other bank defendants reached a final settlement with plaintiffs. Although SGAS’ share of the settlement is not public, the amount was not material from a financial statement perspective. SGAS was also named in four separate individual opt-out litigations by the following plaintiffs: the State of Louisiana (filed September 2019), the City of Baton Rouge/East Baton Rouge Parish and related entities (October 2019), Louisiana Asset Management Pool (April 2020), and the City of New Orleans and related entities (September 2020). These suits also asserted antitrust claims (and in some cases other related claims) against SGAS and multiple other bank defendants based on these plaintiffs’ purchases of GSE bonds. As to the opt-out litigations, a settlement was reached involving all defendants in June 2021, of which SGAS’s share was immaterial, and these actions have been dismissed. SGAS also received a subpoena from the United States Department of Justice in connection with its US agency bond business. SGAS responded to these requests and is cooperating with the Department of Justice investigation.

On 15 October 2020, Vestia, a Dutch housing developer, brought proceedings against Société Générale S.A. before the High Court of England regarding the conditions pursuant to which Vestia contracted derivative products with Société Générale S.A. between 2008 and 2011. Vestia claims that these transactions were outside of its capacity and alleges they were induced by corruption. Vestia seeks to rescind the transactions and recover the amounts paid to Société Générale S.A. pursuant to these transactions. On 8 January 2021, Société Générale S.A. filed a Statement of Defence and Counterclaim. On 11 October 2021, Société Générale S.A. and Vestia reached an agreement to settle this dispute without any admission of liability for Société Générale S.A.

On 29 September 2021, the United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) filed and settled charges against Société Générale S.A. for Société Générale S.A.’s failure to comply with certain swap dealer requirements for disclosing mid-market marks to counterparties, reporting inaccurate swap valuation data to a swaps data repository (SDR), and related supervision failures. Société Générale S.A. agreed to a $1,500,000 civil monetary penalty, to cease and desist from further violations of the Commodity Exchange Act and CFTC regulations and to comply with certain undertakings, including continuing remediation efforts and updating the CFTC on its remediation efforts and compliance.

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Société Générale S.A., along with other financial institutions, was named as a defendant in a putative class action alleging violations of US antitrust laws and the Commodity Exchange Act in connection with its involvement in the London Gold Market Fixing. The action is brought on behalf of persons or entities that sold physical gold, sold gold futures contracts traded on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, sold shares in gold exchange-traded funds, sold gold call options traded on Chicago Mercantile Exchange, bought gold put options traded on Chicago Mercantile Exchange, sold OTC gold spot or forward contracts or gold call options, or bought OTC gold put options. Société Générale S.A., along with three other defendants, has reached a settlement to resolve this action for USD 50 million. By order dated 13 January 2022, the Court granted preliminary approval of the settlement. The final fairness hearing has been scheduled for 5 August 2022. Although Société Générale S.A.’s share of the settlement is not public, it was not material from a financial perspective. Société Générale S.A., along with other financial institutions, is also named as a defendant in two putative class actions in Canada (in the Ontario Superior Court in Toronto and Quebec Superior Court in Quebec City) involving similar claims. Société Générale S.A. is defending the claims.

Société Générale S.A. is not affiliated with USO or USCF. Therefore, neither USCF nor USO believes that there will be any conflicts of interest with Société Générale S.A. or its trading principals arising from Société Générale S.A. acting as an OTC swaps counterparty to USO.

Commodity Trading Advisor

Currently, USCF does not employ commodity trading advisors for the trading of USO contracts. USCF currently does, however, employ SummerHaven Investment Management, LLC as a trading advisor for USCI and CPER. If, in the future, USCF does employ commodity trading advisors for USO, it will choose each advisor based on arm’s-length negotiations and will consider the advisor’s experience, fees and reputation.

Summary of Risk Factors

Investing in our securities involves a high degree of risk. You should carefully consider the information in “Item 1A. Risk Factors”, including, but not limited to, the following risks:

The NAV of USO’s shares relates directly to the value of the Benchmark Oil Futures Contracts and other assets held by USO and fluctuations in the prices of these assets could materially adversely affect an investment in USO’s shares. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results; all or substantially all of an investment in USO could be lost.
Infectious disease outbreaks like COVID-19 could negatively affect the valuation and performance of USO’s investments.
An investment in USO may provide little or no diversification benefits. Thus, in a declining market, USO may have no gains to offset losses from other investments, and an investor may suffer losses on an investment in USO while incurring losses with respect to other asset classes.
Historical performance of USO and the Benchmark Oil Futures Contracts is not indicative of future performance.
The market price at which investors buy or sell shares may be significantly less or more than NAV.
Daily percentage changes in USO’s NAV may not correlate with daily percentage changes in the price of the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract.
Daily percentage changes in the price of the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract may not correlate with daily percentage changes in the spot price of light, sweet crude oil.
An investment in USO is not a proxy for investing in the oil markets, and the daily percentage changes in the price of the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract, or the NAV of USO, may not correlate with daily percentage changes in the spot price of light, sweet crude oil.
Natural forces in the oil futures market known as “backwardation” and “contango” may increase USO’s tracking error and/or negatively impact total return.

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Accountability levels, position limits, and daily price fluctuation limits set by the exchanges have the potential to cause tracking error, by limiting USO’s investments, including its ability to fully invest in the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract, which means that changes in the price of shares could substantially vary from the changes in the price of the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract.
Risk mitigation measures imposed by USO’s FCMs have the potential to cause tracking error by limiting USO’s investments, including its ability to fully invest in the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract and other Oil Futures Contracts, which means that the changes in the price of USO’s shares could substantially vary from changes in the price of the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract.
An investor’s tax liability may exceed the amount of distributions, if any, on its shares.
An investor’s allocable share of taxable income or loss may differ from economic income or loss on the shares.
Items of income, gain, deduction, loss and credit with respect to shares could be reallocated for U.S. federal income tax purposes, and USO could be liable for U.S. federal income tax, if the IRS does not accept the assumptions and conventions applied by USO in allocating those items, with potential adverse consequences for an investor.
USO could be treated as a corporation for federal income tax purposes, which may substantially reduce the value of the shares.
USO is organized and operated as a limited partnership in accordance with the provisions of the LP Agreement and applicable state law, and therefore, USO has a more complex tax treatment than traditional mutual funds.
If USO is required to withhold tax with respect to any non-U.S. shareholders, the cost of such withholding may be borne by all shareholders.
The impact of changes in U.S. federal income tax laws on USO is uncertain.
USO will be subject to credit risk with respect to counterparties to OTC contracts entered into by USO or held by special purpose or structured vehicles.
Valuing OTC derivatives may be less certain than actively traded financial instruments.

Fees of USO

Fees and Compensation Arrangements with USCF and Non-Affiliated Service Providers

Service Provider

    

Compensation Paid by USCF(1)

BNY Mellon, Custodian and Administrator(2)

Provides custody, fund accounting fund administration and transfer agency services to USO and the Related Public Funds’ based on average AUM. The annual fees for USO and the combined Related Public Funds’ may range from $0.4 million to $2.4 million depending on average AUM for any given year.

ALPS Distributors – Marketing Agent

 

$425,000 per annum plus an incentive fee as follows: 0.06% on USO’s assets from $0-500 million; 0.04% on USO’s assets from $500 million-$4 billion; and 0.03% on USO’s assets in excess of $4 billion through September 30, 2022 and commencing October 1, 2022, 0.025% on USO’s total net assets.

(1) USCF pays this compensation.
(2) BNY Mellon has served as the Custodian and Administrator of USO since April 1, 2020.

Compensation to USCF

USO is contractually obligated to pay USCF a management fee based on 0.45% per annum on its average daily total net assets. Fees are calculated on a daily basis (accrued at 1/365 of the applicable percentage of total net assets on that day) and paid on a monthly basis. Total net assets are calculated by taking the current market value of USOs total assets and subtracting any liabilities.

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Fees and Compensation Arrangements between USO and Non-Affiliated Service Providers(3)

Service Provider

    

Compensation Paid by USO

RBC Capital, Futures Commission Merchant

Approximately $3.50 per buy or sell; charges may vary

Marex Capital Markets, Inc., Futures Commission Merchant

MFUSA, Futures Commission Merchant

ADMIS, Futures Commission Merchant

 

(3) USO pays this compensation.

New York Mercantile Exchange Licensing Fee(4) – 0.015% on all net assets.

(4) Fees are calculated on a daily basis (accrued at 1/365 of the applicable percentage of NAV on that day) and paid on a monthly basis. USO is responsible for its pro rata share of the assets held by USO and the Related Public Funds, other than BNO, USCI and CPER.

Expenses Paid or Accrued by USO from Inception through December 31, 2023 in dollar terms:

Expenses:

    

Amount in Dollar Terms

Amount Paid or Accrued to USCF:

$

149,915,655

Amount Paid or Accrued in Portfolio Brokerage Commissions:

$

44,476,259

Other Amounts Paid or Accrued(5):

$

54,091,941

Total Expenses Paid or Accrued:

$

248,483,855

(5) Includes expenses relating to the registration of additional shares, legal fees, auditing fees, printing expenses, licensing fees, tax reporting fees, prepaid insurance expenses and miscellaneous expenses and fees and expenses paid to the independent directors of USCF.

Expenses Paid or Accrued by USO from Inception through December 31, 2023 as a Percentage of Average Daily Net Assets:

    

Amount as a Percentage 

Expenses:

of Average Daily Net Assets

Amount Paid or Accrued to USCF:

 

0.45% annualized

Amount Paid or Accrued in Portfolio Brokerage Commissions:

 

0.13% annualized

Other Amounts Paid or Accrued(6):

 

0.16% annualized

Total Expenses Paid or Accrued:

 

0.75% annualized

(6) Includes expenses relating to the registration of additional shares, legal fees, auditing fees, printing expenses, licensing fees, tax reporting fees, prepaid insurance expenses and miscellaneous expenses and fees and expenses paid to the independent directors of USCF.

Other Fees. USO also pays the fees and expenses associated with its audit expenses, professional fees, and tax accounting and reporting requirements. These fees were $2,184,411 for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2023. In addition, USO is responsible for paying its portion of the directors’ and officers’ liability insurance for USO and the Related Public Funds and the fees and expenses of the independent directors who also serve as audit committee members of USO and the Related Public Funds. USO shares the fees and expenses on a pro rata basis with each Related Public Fund, as described above, based on the relative assets of each fund computed on a daily basis. These fees and expenses for the year ended December 31, 2023 were approximately $1,210,000 for USO and the Related Public Funds. USO’s portion of such fees and expenses for the year ended December 31, 2023 was $723,121.

Form of Shares

Registered Form. Shares are issued in registered form in accordance with the LP Agreement. The Administrator has been appointed registrar and transfer agent for the purpose of transferring shares in certificated form. The Administrator keeps a record of all limited partners and holders of the shares in certificated form in the registry. USCF recognizes transfers of shares in certificated form only if done in accordance with the LP Agreement. The beneficial interests in such shares are held in book-entry form through participants and/or accountholders in the Depository Trust Company (“DTC”).

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Book Entry. Individual certificates are not issued for the shares. Instead, shares are represented by one or more global certificates, which are deposited by the Administrator with DTC and registered in the name of Cede & Co., as nominee for DTC. The global certificates evidence all of the shares outstanding at any time. Shareholders are limited to: (1) participants in DTC such as banks, brokers, dealers and trust companies (“DTC Participants”), (2) those who maintain, either directly or indirectly, a custodial relationship with a DTC Participant (“Indirect Participants”), and (3) those banks, brokers, dealers, trust companies and others who hold interests in the shares through DTC Participants or Indirect Participants, in each case who satisfy the requirements for transfers of shares. DTC Participants acting on behalf of investors holding shares through such participants’ accounts in DTC will follow the delivery practice applicable to securities eligible for DTC’s Same-Day Funds Settlement System. Shares are credited to DTC Participants’ securities accounts following confirmation of receipt of payment.

DTC. DTC has advised USO as follows: DTC is a limited purpose trust company organized under the laws of the State of New York and is a member of the Federal Reserve System, a “clearing corporation” within the meaning of the New York Uniform Commercial Code and a “clearing agency” registered pursuant to the provisions of Section 17A of the Exchange Act. DTC holds securities for DTC Participants and facilitates the clearance and settlement of transactions between DTC Participants through electronic book-entry changes in accounts of DTC Participants.

Calculating Per Share NAV

USO’s per share NAV is calculated by:

Taking the current market value of its total assets;
Subtracting any liabilities; and
Dividing that total by the total number of outstanding shares.

The Administrator calculates the per share NAV of USO once each NYSE Arca trading day. The per share NAV for a normal trading day is released after 4:00 p.m. Eastern time. Trading during the core trading session on the NYSE Arca (normally 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern time. The Administrator uses the NYMEX closing price (determined at the earlier of the close of the NYMEX or 2:30 p.m. Eastern time) for the Oil Futures Contracts traded on the NYMEX, but calculates or determines the value of all other USO investments (including Oil Futures Contracts not traded on the NYMEX, Other Oil-Related Investments and Treasuries) using market quotations, if available, or other information customarily used to determine the fair value of such investments as of the earlier of the close of the NYSE Arca or 4:00 p.m. Eastern time, in accordance with the current Administrative Agency Agreement among the Administrator, USO and USCF. “Other information” customarily used in determining fair value includes information consisting of market data in the relevant market supplied by one or more third parties including, without limitation, relevant rates, prices, yields, yield curves, volatilities, spreads, correlations or other market data in the relevant market; or information of the types described above from internal sources if that information is of the same type used by USO in the regular course of its business for the valuation of similar transactions. The information may include costs of funding, to the extent costs of funding are not and would not be a component of the other information being utilized. Third parties supplying quotations or market data may include, without limitation, dealers in the relevant markets, end-users of the relevant product, information vendors, brokers and other sources of market information.

In addition, in order to provide updated information relating to USO for use by investors and market professionals, ICE Data Indices, LLC calculates and disseminates throughout the core trading session on each trading day an updated indicative fund value. The indicative fund value is calculated by using the prior day’s closing per share NAV of USO as a base and updating that value throughout the trading day to reflect changes in the most recently reported trade prices for the Oil Futures Contracts and Other Oil-Related Investments held by USO. The indicative fund value share basis disseminated during NYSE Arca core trading session hours should not be viewed as an actual real time update of the per share NAV, because the per share NAV is calculated only once at the end of each trading day based upon the relevant end of day values of USO’s investments. The indicative fund value is disseminated on a per share basis every 15 seconds during the regular NYSE Arca core trading session hours of 9:30 a.m. Eastern time to 4:00 p.m. Eastern time. The normal trading hours of the NYMEX are 6:00 p.m. Eastern time to 5:00 p.m. Eastern time the next day and its closing settlement price is set as of 2:30 p.m. Eastern time. ICE Futures normal trading hours for its Oil Futures Contracts are 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time until 6:00 p.m. Eastern time the next day. ICE Futures also sets its settlement price as of 2:30 p.m. Eastern time each trading day. The indicative fund value: (1) from 9:30 a.m. Eastern time to 2:30 p.m. Eastern time includes the real-time prices of the USO’s holdings of Oil Futures Contracts traded on the NYMEX and ICE Futures; and (2) thereafter, from that time to the close of the NYSE Arca core trading session, is based on the 2:30 p.m. settlement prices of Oil Futures Contracts traded on the NYMEX and ICE Futures, which are the same prices used for valuing such contracts in determining USO’s official end of day NAV. Therefore, a static indicative fund value is disseminated

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between the time the settlement price is published (at approximately 2:30 p.m. Eastern time) for NYMEX and ICE Futures and the close of the NYSE Arca core trading session.

In addition, the indicative fund value calculation includes other Oil Futures Contracts (i.e., other than Oil Futures Contracts traded on NYMEX or ICE Futures) and Other Oil-Related Investments held by USO by using the prices of the Oil Futures Contracts traded on NYMEX or ICE Futures referenced in, or used as the basis for, the prices of these other Oil Futures Contracts and Other Oil-Related Investments. Such other Oil Futures Contracts and Other Oil-Related Investments, like Oil Futures Contracts traded on the NYMEX and ICE Futures referenced above, also are valued using the real-time prices of Oil Futures Contracts traded on the NYMEX and ICE Futures up until approximately 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time, and, thereafter, to the close of the NYSE Arca Core Trading Session, based on the 2:30 p.m. settlement prices of Oil Futures Contracts traded on the NYMEX and ICE Futures. Therefore, the prices in the indicative fund value relating to such other Oil Futures Contracts and Other Oil-Related Investments are static between the time the settlement price is published for NYMEX and ICE Futures and the close of the NYSE Arca Core Trading Session. While the end of day value of Treasuries, cash and cash equivalents are included in USO’s prior end of day NAV, to which changes in the value of Oil Futures Contracts and Other Oil-Related Investments are applied in calculating the indicative fund value, intraday changes in the value of Treasuries, cash and cash equivalents are not applied in calculating the indicative fund value ICE Data Indices, LLC disseminates the indicative fund value through the facilities of CTA/CQ High Speed Lines. In addition, the indicative fund value is available through online information services such as Bloomberg and Reuters. Dissemination of the indicative fund value provides additional information that is not otherwise available to the public and is useful to investors and market professionals in connection with the trading of USO shares on the NYSE Arca. Investors and market professionals are able throughout the trading day to compare the market price of USO and the indicative fund value.

USO reserves the right to adjust the share price of USO in the future to maintain convenient trading ranges for investors. Any adjustments would be accomplished through stock splits or reverse stock splits. Such splits would decrease (in the case of a split) or increase (in the case of a reverse split) the proportionate NAV per share, but would have no effect on the net assets of USO or the proportionate voting rights of shareholders or limited partners.

Creation and Redemption of Shares

USO creates and redeems shares from time to time, but only in one or more Creation Baskets or Redemption Baskets. The creation and redemption of baskets are only made in exchange for delivery to USO or the distribution by USO of the amount of Treasuries and any cash represented by the baskets being created or redeemed, the amount of which is based on the combined NAV of the number of shares included in the baskets being created or redeemed determined as of 4:00 p.m. New York time on the day the order to create or redeem baskets is properly received.

Authorized Participants are the only persons that may place orders to create and redeem baskets. Authorized Participants must be: (1) registered broker-dealers or other securities market participants, such as banks and other financial institutions, that are not required to register as broker-dealers to engage in securities transactions as described below, and (2) DTC Participants. To become an Authorized Participant, a person must enter into an Authorized Participant Agreement with USCF on behalf of USO (each such agreement, an “Authorized Participant Agreement”). The Authorized Participant Agreement provides the procedures for the creation and redemption of baskets and for the delivery of the Treasuries and any cash required for such creations and redemptions. The Authorized Participant Agreement and the related procedures attached thereto may be amended by USO, without the consent of any limited partner or shareholder or Authorized Participant. Authorized Participants pay a transaction fee of $1,000 to USO for each order they place to create one or more Creation Baskets or to redeem one or more Redemption Baskets. The transaction fee may be reduced, increased, or otherwise changed by USCF. Authorized Participants who make deposits with USO in exchange for baskets receive no fees, commissions or other form of compensation or inducement of any kind from either USO or USCF, and no such person will have any obligation or responsibility to USO or USCF to affect any sale or resale of shares. As of December 31, 2023, 12 Authorized Participants had entered into agreements with USCF on behalf of USO. During the year ended December 31, 2023, USO issued 905 Creation Baskets and redeemed (953) Redemption Baskets.

Certain Authorized Participants are expected to be capable of participating directly in the physical crude oil market and the crude oil futures market. In some cases, Authorized Participants or their affiliates may from time to time buy or sell crude oil or Crude Oil Interests and may profit in these instances. USCF believes that the size and operation of the crude oil market make it unlikely that an Authorized Participant’s direct activities in the crude oil or securities markets will significantly affect the price of crude oil, Crude Oil Interests or the price of the shares.

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Each Authorized Participant is required to be registered as a broker-dealer under the Exchange Act and is a member in good standing with FINRA, or exempt from being or otherwise not required to be registered as a broker-dealer or a member of FINRA, and qualified to act as a broker or dealer in the states or other jurisdictions where the nature of its business so requires. Certain Authorized Participants may also be regulated under federal and state banking laws and regulations. Each Authorized Participant has its own set of rules and procedures, internal controls and information barriers as it determines is appropriate in light of its own regulatory regime.

Under the Authorized Participant Agreement, USCF, and USO under limited circumstances, have agreed to indemnify the Authorized Participants against certain liabilities, including liabilities under the 1933 Act, and to contribute to the payments the Authorized Participants may be required to make in respect of those liabilities.

The following description of the procedures for the creation and redemption of baskets is only a summary and an investor should refer to the relevant provisions of the LP Agreement and the form of Authorized Participant Agreement for more detail, each of which is incorporated by reference into this annual report on Form 10-K.

Creation Procedures

On any business day, an Authorized Participant may place an order with the Marketing Agent to create one or more baskets. For purposes of processing purchase and redemption orders, a “business day” means any day other than a day when any of the NYSE Arca, the NYMEX or the NYSE is closed for regular trading. Purchase orders must be placed by 12:00 p.m. New York time or the close of regular trading on the NYSE Arca, whichever is earlier. The day on which the Marketing Agent receives a valid purchase order is referred to as the purchase order date.

By placing a purchase order, an Authorized Participant agrees to deposit Treasuries, cash, or a combination of Treasuries and cash, as described below. Prior to the delivery of baskets for a purchase order, the Authorized Participant must also have wired to the Custodian the non-refundable transaction fee due for the purchase order. Authorized Participants may not withdraw a creation request, except as otherwise set forth in the procedures in the Authorized Participant Agreement.

The manner by which creations are made is dictated by the terms of the Authorized Participant Agreement. By placing a purchase order, an Authorized Participant agrees to (1) deposit Treasuries, cash, or a combination of Treasuries and cash with the Custodian, and (2) if required by USCF in its sole discretion, enter into or arrange for a block trade, an exchange for physical or exchange for swap, or any other OTC energy transaction (through itself or a designated acceptable broker) with USO for the purchase of a number and type of futures contracts at the closing settlement price for such contracts on the purchase order date. If an Authorized Participant fails to consummate (1) and (2), the order shall be cancelled. The number and types of contracts specified shall be determined by USCF, in its sole discretion, to meet USO’s investment objective and shall be purchased as a result of the Authorized Participant’s purchase of shares.

Determination of Required Deposits

The total deposit required to create each Creation Basket (“Creation Basket Deposit”) is the amount of Treasuries and/or cash that is in the same proportion to the total assets of USO (net of estimated accrued but unpaid fees, expenses and other liabilities) on the purchase order date as the number of shares to be created under the purchase order is in proportion to the total number of shares outstanding on the purchase order date. USCF determines, directly in its sole discretion or in consultation with the Administrator, the requirements for Treasuries and the amount of cash, including the maximum permitted remaining maturity of a Treasury and proportions of Treasury and cash that may be included in deposits to create baskets. The Marketing Agent will publish such requirements at the beginning of each business day. The amount of cash deposit required is the difference between the aggregate market value of the Treasuries required to be included in a Creation Basket Deposit as of 4:00 p.m. New York time on the date the order to purchase is properly received and the total required deposit.

Delivery of Required Deposits

An Authorized Participant who places a purchase order is responsible for transferring to USO’s account with the Custodian the required amount of Treasuries and cash by the end of the second business day following the purchase order date. Upon receipt of the deposit amount, the Administrator directs DTC to credit the number of baskets ordered to the Authorized Participant’s DTC account on the second business day following the purchase order dates. The expense and risk of delivery and ownership of Treasuries until such Treasuries have been received by the Custodian on behalf of USO shall be borne solely by the Authorized Participant.

Because orders to purchase baskets must be placed by 12:00 p.m., New York time, but the total payment required to create a basket during the continuous offering period will not be determined until after 4:00 p.m., New York time, on the date the purchase order is

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received, Authorized Participants will not know the total amount of the payment required to create a basket at the time they submit an irrevocable purchase order for the basket. USO’s per share NAV and the total amount of the payment required to create a basket could rise or fall substantially between the time an irrevocable purchase order is submitted and the time the amount of the purchase price in respect thereof is determined.

Rejection of Purchase Orders

USCF acting by itself or through the Marketing Agent shall have the absolute right but no obligation to reject a purchase order or a Creation Basket Deposit if:

it determines that the investment alternative available to USO at that time will not enable it to meet its investment objective;
it determines that the purchase order or the Creation Basket Deposit is not in proper form;
it believes that the purchase order or the Creation Basket Deposit would have adverse tax consequences to USO, the limited partners or its shareholders;
the acceptance or receipt of the Creation Basket Deposit would, in the opinion of counsel to USCF, be unlawful; or
circumstances outside the control of USCF, Marketing Agent or Custodian make it, for all practical purposes, not feasible to process creations of baskets.

None of USCF, the Marketing Agent or the Custodian will be liable for the rejection of any purchase order or Creation Basket Deposit.

Redemption Procedures

The procedures by which an Authorized Participant can redeem one or more baskets mirror the procedures for the creation of baskets. On any business day, an Authorized Participant may place an order with the Marketing Agent to redeem one or more baskets. Redemption orders must be placed by 12:00 p.m. New York time or the close of regular trading on the NYSE Arca, whichever is earlier. A redemption order so received will be effective on the date it is received in satisfactory form by the Marketing Agent (“Redemption Order Date”). The redemption procedures allow Authorized Participants to redeem baskets and do not entitle an individual shareholder to redeem any shares in an amount less than a Redemption Basket, or to redeem baskets other than through an Authorized Participant.

By placing a redemption order, an Authorized Participant agrees to deliver the baskets to be redeemed through DTC’s book-entry system to USO, as described below. Prior to the delivery of the redemption distribution for a redemption order, the Authorized Participant must also have wired to USO’s account at the Custodian the non-refundable transaction fee due for the redemption order. An Authorized Participant may not withdraw a redemption order, except as otherwise set forth in the procedures in the Authorized Participant Agreement.

The manner by which redemptions are made is dictated by the terms of the Authorized Participant Agreement. By placing a redemption order, an Authorized Participant agrees to (1) deliver the Redemption Basket to be redeemed through DTC’s book-entry system to USO’s account with the Custodian not later than 3:00 p.m. New York time on the second business day following the effective date of the redemption order (“Redemption Distribution Date”), and (2) if required by USCF in its sole discretion, enter into or arrange for a block trade, an exchange for physical or exchange for swap, or any other OTC energy transaction (through itself or a designated acceptable broker) with USO for the sale of a number and type of futures contracts at the closing settlement price for such contracts on the Redemption Order Date. If an Authorized Participant fails to consummate (1) and (2) above, the order shall be cancelled. The number and type of contracts specified shall be determined by USCF, in its sole discretion, to meet USO’s investment objective and shall be sold as a result of the Authorized Participant’s sale of shares.

Determination of Redemption Distribution

The redemption distribution from USO consists of a transfer to the redeeming Authorized Participant of an amount of Treasuries and/or cash that is in the same proportion to the total assets of USO (net of estimated accrued but unpaid fees, expenses and other liabilities) on the date the order to redeem is properly received as the number of shares to be redeemed under the redemption order is in proportion to the total number of shares outstanding on the date the order is received. USCF, directly or in consultation with the Administrator, determines the requirements for Treasuries and the amounts of cash, including the maximum permitted remaining maturity of a Treasury,

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and the proportions of Treasuries and cash that may be included in distributions to redeem baskets. The Marketing Agent will publish an estimate of the redemption distribution per basket as of the beginning of each business day.

Delivery of Redemption Distribution

The redemption distribution due from USO will be delivered to the Authorized Participant by 3:00 p.m. New York time on the second business day following the redemption order date if, by 3:00 p.m. New York time on such second business day, USO’s DTC account has been credited with the baskets to be redeemed. If USO’s DTC account has not been credited with all of the baskets to be redeemed by such time, the redemption distribution will be delivered to the extent of whole baskets received. Any remainder of the redemption distribution will be delivered on the next business day to the extent of remaining whole baskets received if USO receives the fee applicable to the extension of the redemption distribution date which USCF may, from time to time, determine and the remaining baskets to be redeemed are credited to USO’s DTC account by 3:00 p.m. New York time on such next business day. Any further outstanding amount of the redemption order shall be cancelled. Pursuant to information from USCF, the Custodian will also be authorized to deliver the redemption distribution notwithstanding that the baskets to be redeemed are not credited to USO’s DTC account by 3:00 p.m. New York time on the second business day following the redemption order date if the Authorized Participant has collateralized its obligation to deliver the baskets through DTC’s book entry-system on such terms as USCF may from time to time determine.

Suspension or Rejection of Redemption Orders

USCF may, in its discretion, suspend the right of redemption, or postpone the redemption settlement date, (1) for any period during which the NYSE Arca or the NYMEX is closed other than customary weekend or holiday closings, or trading on the NYSE Arca or the NYMEX is suspended or restricted, (2) for any period during which an emergency exists as a result of which delivery, disposal or evaluation of Treasuries is not reasonably practicable, or (3) for such other period as USCF determines to be necessary for the protection of the limited partners or shareholders. For example, USCF may determine that it is necessary to suspend redemptions to allow for the orderly liquidation of USO’s assets at an appropriate value to fund a redemption. If USCF has difficulty liquidating USO positions, e.g., because of a market disruption event in the futures markets, a suspension of trading by the exchange where the futures contracts are listed or an unanticipated delay in the liquidation of a position in an OTC contract, it may be appropriate to suspend redemptions until such time as such circumstances are rectified. None of USCF, the Marketing Agent, the Administrator, or the Custodian will be liable to any person or in any way for any loss or damages that may result from any such suspension or postponement.

Redemption orders must be made in whole baskets. USCF will reject a redemption order if the order is not in proper form as described in the Authorized Participant Agreement or if the fulfillment of the order, in the opinion of its counsel, might be unlawful. USCF may also reject a redemption order if the number of shares being redeemed would reduce the remaining outstanding shares to 100,000 shares (i.e., one basket) or less, unless USCF has reason to believe that the placer of the redemption order does in fact possess all the outstanding shares and can deliver them.

Creation and Redemption Transaction Fee

To compensate USO for its expenses in connection with the creation and redemption of baskets, an Authorized Participant is required to pay a transaction fee to USO of $1,000 per order to create or redeem baskets, regardless of the number of baskets in such order. An order may include multiple baskets. The transaction fee may be reduced, increased or otherwise changed by USCF. USCF shall notify DTC of any change in the transaction fee and will not implement any increase in the fee for the redemption of baskets until thirty (30) days after the date of the notice.

Tax Responsibility

Authorized Participants are responsible for any transfer tax, sales or use tax, stamp tax, recording tax, value added tax or similar tax or governmental charge applicable to the creation or redemption of baskets, regardless of whether or not such tax or charge is imposed directly on the Authorized Participant, and agree to indemnify USCF and USO if they are required by law to pay any such tax, together with any applicable penalties, additions to tax and interest thereon.

Secondary Market Transactions

As noted, USO creates and redeems shares from time to time, but only in one or more Creation Baskets or Redemption Baskets. The creation and redemption of baskets are only made in exchange for delivery to USO or the distribution by USO of the amount of Treasuries and cash represented by the baskets being created or redeemed, the amount of which will be based on the aggregate NAV of the number

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of shares included in the baskets being created or redeemed determined on the day the order to create or redeem baskets is properly received.

As discussed above, Authorized Participants are the only persons that may place orders to create and redeem baskets. Authorized Participants must be registered broker-dealers or other securities market participants, such as banks and other financial institutions that are not required to register as broker-dealers to engage in securities transactions. An Authorized Participant is under no obligation to create or redeem baskets, and an Authorized Participant is under no obligation to offer to the public shares of any baskets it does create. Authorized Participants that do offer to the public shares from the baskets they create will do so at per-share offering prices that are expected to reflect, among other factors, the trading price of the shares on the NYSE Arca, the per share NAV of USO at the time the Authorized Participant purchased the Creation Baskets and the per share NAV of the shares at the time of the offer of the shares to the public, the supply of and demand for shares at the time of sale, and the liquidity of the Oil Futures Contract market and the market for Other Oil-Related Investments.

Shares initially comprising the same basket but offered by Authorized Participants to the public at different times may have different offering prices. An order for one or more baskets may be placed by an Authorized Participant on behalf of multiple clients. Authorized Participants who make deposits with USO in exchange for baskets receive no fees, commissions or other forms of compensation or inducement of any kind from either USO or USCF, and no such person has any obligation or responsibility to USCF or USO to affect any sale or resale of shares. Shares trade in the secondary market on the NYSE Arca. Shares may trade in the secondary market at prices that are lower or higher relative to their NAV per share. The amount of the discount or premium in the trading price relative to the NAV per share may be influenced by various factors, including, among other things, the number of investors who seek to purchase or sell shares in the secondary market, availability of Creation Baskets, the liquidity of the Oil Futures Contracts market and the market for Other Oil-Related Investments. As an example, on April 21, 2020, the price per of USO shares sold in the secondary market was 36% higher than the end of day per share NAV of USO. This discrepancy was attributable to increased demand for USO shares due to market forces and USO’s having temporarily halted the offer for purchase of Creation Baskets.

In addition, while USO’s shares trade during the core trading session on the NYSE Arca until 4:00 p.m. New York time, liquidity in the market for Oil Futures Contracts and Other Oil-Related Investments traded on the NYMEX may be reduced after the determination of the settlement price by the NYMEX at 2:30 p.m. New York time. USO’s NAV is calculated based on the settlement price of Oil Futures Contracts at 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time and the closing share price of USO on the NYSE Arca takes into account changes in the price of Oil Futures Contracts that occur after the settlement price is determined. As a result, during this time, particularly if USO has invested in Oil Futures Contracts and Other Oil-Related Investments traded on the NYMEX, trading spreads, and the resulting premium or discount, on the shares may widen.

Use of Proceeds

USCF causes USO to transfer the proceeds from the sale of Creation Baskets to the Custodian or other custodian for trading activities. USCF will invest USO’s assets in Oil-Interest and investments in Treasuries, cash and/or cash equivalents. When USO purchases an Oil Futures Contract and certain exchange-traded Other Oil-Related Investments, USO is required to deposit typically 5% to 30% with the selling FCMs on behalf of the exchange as a portion of the value of the contract or other interest as security to ensure payment for the obligation under Oil Interests at maturity. This deposit is known as initial margin. Counterparties in transactions in OTC contracts will generally impose similar collateral requirements on USO. USCF will invest the assets that remain after margin and collateral are posted in Treasuries, cash and/or cash equivalents subject to these margin and collateral requirements. USCF has sole authority to determine the percentage of assets that are:

held on deposit with the FCMs or other custodian;
used for other investments, and
held in bank accounts to pay current obligations and as reserves.

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An FCM, counterparty, government agency or commodity exchange could increase margin or collateral requirements applicable to USO to hold trading positions at any time. The percentage of assets committed as margin may be substantially more, or less, that the 5% to 30% range described above. Ongoing margin and collateral payments will generally be required for both exchange-traded and OTC contracts based on changes in the value of the Oil Interests. Furthermore, ongoing collateral requirements with respect to OTC contracts are negotiated by the parties, and may be affected by overall market volatility, volatility of the underlying commodity or index, the ability of the counterparty to hedge its exposure under the Oil Interests, and each party’s creditworthiness. Margin is merely a security deposit and has no bearing on the profit or loss potential for any positions held. In light of the differing requirements for initial payments under exchange-traded and OTC contracts and the fluctuating nature of ongoing margin and collateral payments, it is not possible to estimate what portion of USO’s assets will be posted as margin or collateral at any given time. The Treasuries, cash and cash equivalents held by USO will constitute reserves that will be available to meet ongoing margin and collateral requirements. All interest income will be used for USO’s benefit.

The assets of USO posted as margin for Oil Futures Contracts are held in segregated accounts pursuant to the CEA and CFTC regulations.

If USO enters into a swap agreement, USO must post both collateral and independent amounts to its swap counterparty(ies). The amount of collateral USO posts changes according to the amounts owed by USO to its counterparty on a given swap transaction, while independent amounts are fixed amounts posted by USO at the start of a swap transaction. Collateral and independent amounts posted to swap counterparties will be held by a third-party custodian.

The Commodity Interest Markets

General

The CEA governs the regulation of commodity interest transactions, markets and intermediaries. The CEA provides for varying degrees of regulation of commodity interest transactions depending upon: (1) the type of instrument being traded (e.g., contracts for future delivery, forwards, options, swaps or spot contracts), (2) the type of commodity underlying the instrument (distinctions are made between instruments based on agricultural commodities, energy and metals commodities and financial commodities), (3) the nature of the parties to the transaction (e.g., retail or eligible contract participant), (4) whether the transaction is entered into on a principal-to-principal or intermediated basis, (5) the type of market on which the transaction occurs, and (6) whether the transaction is subject to clearing through a clearing organization.

The offer and sale of shares of USO, as well as shares of each Related Public Fund, is registered under the 1933 Act. USO and the Related Public Funds are subject to the requirements of the 1933 Act, the Exchange Act and the rules and regulations adopted thereunder as administered by the SEC. Firms’ participation in the distribution of shares is regulated as described above, as well as by the self-regulatory association, FINRA.

Futures Contracts

A futures contract is a standardized contract traded on, or subject to the rules of, an exchange that calls for the future delivery of a specified quantity and type of a commodity at a specified time and place. Futures contracts are traded on a wide variety of commodities, including agricultural products, bonds, stock indices, interest rates, currencies, energy and metals. The size and terms of futures contracts on a particular commodity are identical and are not subject to any negotiation, other than with respect to price and the number of contracts traded between the buyer and seller.

The contractual obligations of a buyer or seller may generally be satisfied by taking or making physical delivery of the underlying commodity or by making an offsetting sale or purchase of an identical futures contract on the same or linked exchange before the designated date of delivery. The difference between the price at which the futures contract is purchased or sold and the price paid for the offsetting sale or purchase, after allowance for brokerage commissions, constitutes the profit or loss to the trader. Some futures contracts, such as stock index contracts, settle in cash (reflecting the difference between the contract purchase/sale price and the contract settlement price) rather than by delivery of the underlying commodity.

In market terminology, a trader who purchases a futures contract is long in the market and a trader who sells a futures contract is short in the market. Before a trader closes out his long or short position by an offsetting sale or purchase, his outstanding contracts are known as open trades or open positions. The aggregate amount of open positions held by traders in a particular contract is referred to as the open interest in such contract.

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Forward Contracts

A forward contract is a contractual obligation to purchase or sell a specified quantity of a commodity at or before a specified date in the future at a specified price and, therefore, is economically similar to a futures contract. Unlike futures contracts, however, forward contracts are typically traded in the OTC markets and are not standardized contracts. Forward contracts for a given commodity are generally available for various amounts and maturities and are subject to individual negotiation between the parties involved. Moreover, generally there is no direct means of offsetting or closing out a forward contract by taking an offsetting position as one would a futures contract on a U.S. exchange. If a trader desires to close out a forward contract position, he generally will establish an opposite position in the contract but will settle and recognize the profit or loss on both positions simultaneously on the delivery date. Thus, unlike in the futures contract market where a trader who has offset positions will recognize profit or loss immediately, in the forward market a trader with a position that has been offset at a profit will generally not receive such profit until the delivery date, and likewise a trader with a position that has been offset at a loss will generally not have to pay money until the delivery date. Nevertheless, in some instances forward contracts now provide a right of offset or cash settlement as an alternative to making or taking delivery of the underlying commodity.

In general, the CFTC does not regulate the interbank and forward foreign currency markets with respect to transactions in contracts between certain sophisticated counterparties such as USO or between certain regulated institutions and retail investors. Although U.S. banks are regulated in various ways by the Federal Reserve Board, the Comptroller of the Currency and other U.S. federal and state banking officials, banking authorities do not regulate the forward markets to the same extent that the swap markets are regulated by the CFTC and SEC.

Regulation exempts both foreign exchange swaps and foreign exchange forwards from the definition of “swap” and, by extension, certain regulatory requirements applicable to swaps (such as clearing and margin). The exemption does not extend to other foreign exchange derivatives, such as foreign exchange options, currency swaps, and non-deliverable forwards.

While the U.S. government does not currently impose any restrictions on the movements of currencies, it could choose to do so. The imposition or relaxation of exchange controls in various jurisdictions could significantly affect the market for that and other jurisdictions’ currencies. Trading in the interbank market also exposes USO to a risk of default since failure of a bank with which USO had entered into a forward contract would likely result in a default and thus possibly substantial losses to USO.

Options on Futures Contracts

Options on futures contracts are standardized contracts traded on an exchange. An option on a futures contract gives the buyer of the option the right, but not the obligation, to take a position at a specified price (the striking, strike, or exercise price) in the underlying futures contract or underlying interest. The buyer of a call option acquires the right, but not the obligation, to purchase or take a long position in the underlying interest, and the buyer of a put option acquires the right, but not the obligation, to sell or take a short position in the underlying interest.

The seller, or writer, of an option is obligated to take a position in the underlying interest at a specified price opposite to the option buyer if the option is exercised. The seller of a call option must stand ready to take a short position in the underlying interest at the strike price if the buyer should exercise the option. The seller of a put option, on the other hand, must stand ready to take a long position in the underlying interest at the strike price.

A call option is said to be in-the-money if the strike price is below current market levels and out-of-the-money if the strike price is above current market levels. Conversely, a put option is said to be in-the-money if the strike price is above the current market levels and out-of-the-money if the strike price is below current market levels.

Options have limited life spans, usually tied to the delivery or settlement date of the underlying interest. Some options, however, expire significantly in advance of such date. The purchase price of an option is referred to as its premium, which consists of its intrinsic value (which is related to the underlying market value) plus its time value. As an option nears its expiration date, the time value shrinks and the market and intrinsic values move into parity. An option that is out-of-the-money and not offset by the time it expires becomes worthless. On certain exchanges, in-the-money options are automatically exercised on their expiration date, but on others unexercised options simply become worthless after their expiration date.

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Regardless of how much the market swings, the most an option buyer can lose is the option premium. The option buyer deposits his premium with his broker, and the money goes to the option seller. Option sellers, on the other hand, face risks similar to participants in the futures markets. For example, since the seller of a call option is assigned a short futures position if the option is exercised, his risk is the same as someone who initially sold a futures contract. Because no one can predict exactly how the market will move, the option seller typically posts margin to demonstrate his ability to meet any potential contractual obligations.

Options on Forward Contracts or Commodities

Options on forward contracts or commodities operate in a manner similar to options on futures contracts. An option on a forward contract or commodity gives the buyer of the option the right, but not the obligation, to take a position at a specified price in the underlying forward contract or commodity. However, unlike options on futures contracts, options on forward contracts or on commodities are individually negotiated contracts between counterparties and are typically traded in the OTC market. Therefore, options on forward contracts and physical commodities possess many of the same characteristics of forward contracts with respect to offsetting positions and credit risk that are described above.

Swap Contracts

Swap transactions generally involve contracts between two parties to exchange a stream of payments computed by reference to a notional amount and the price of the asset that is the subject of the swap. Swap contracts are principally traded off-exchange, although certain swap contracts are also being traded in electronic trading facilities and cleared through clearing organizations.

Swaps are usually entered into on a net basis, that is, the two payment streams are netted out in a cash settlement on the payment date or dates specified in the agreement, with the parties receiving or paying, as the case may be, only the net amount of the two payments. Swaps do not generally involve the delivery of underlying assets or principal. Accordingly, the risk of loss with respect to swaps is generally limited to the net amount of payments that the party is contractually obligated to make. In some swap transactions one or both parties may require collateral deposits from the counterparty to support that counterparty’s obligation under the swap agreement. If the counterparty to such a swap defaults, the risk of loss consists of the net amount of payments that the party is contractually entitled to receive less any collateral deposits it is holding.

Some swap transactions are cleared through central counterparties. “Clearing” refers to the process by which a trade that is bilaterally executed by two parties is submitted to a central clearing counterparty, via a clearing member (i.e., an FCM), and replaced by two mirror swaps, with the central clearing counterparty becoming the counterparty to both of the initial parties to the swap. These transactions, known as cleared swaps, involve two counterparties first agreeing to the terms of a swap transaction, then submitting the transaction to a clearing house that acts as the central counterparty. Once accepted by the clearing house, the original swap transaction is terminated and replaced by two mirror trades for which the central counterparty becomes the counterparty to each of the original parties based upon the trade terms determined in the original transaction. In this manner each individual swap counterparty reduces its risk of loss due to counterparty nonperformance because the clearing house acts as the counterparty to each transaction.

Commodities Regulation

Futures exchanges in the United States are subject to varying degrees of regulation under the CEA depending on whether such exchange is a designated contract market, exempt board of trade or electronic trading facility. Clearing organizations are also subject to the CEA and the rules and regulations adopted thereunder and administered by the CFTC. The CFTC is the governmental agency charged with responsibility for regulation of futures exchanges and commodity interest trading. The CFTC’s function is to implement the CEA’s objectives of preventing price manipulation and excessive speculation and promoting orderly and efficient commodity interest markets. In addition, the various exchanges and clearing organizations themselves exercise regulatory and supervisory authority over their member firms.

The CFTC also regulates the activities of “commodity trading advisors” and “commodity pool operators” and the CFTC has adopted regulations with respect to certain of such persons’ activities. Pursuant to its authority, the CFTC requires a CPO, such as USCF, to keep accurate, current and orderly records with respect to each pool it operates. The CFTC may suspend, modify or terminate the registration of any registrant for failure to comply with CFTC rules or regulations. Suspension, restriction or termination of USCF’s registration as a CPO would prevent it, until such time (if any) as such registration were to be reinstated, from managing, and might result in the termination of, USO or the Related Public Funds.

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Under certain circumstances, the CEA grants shareholders the right to institute a reparations proceeding before the CFTC against USCF (as a registered commodity pool operator), as well as those of their respective employees who are required to be registered under the CEA. Shareholders may also be able to maintain a private right of action for certain violations of the CEA.

Pursuant to authority in the CEA, the NFA has been formed and registered with the CFTC as a registered futures association. The NFA is the only self-regulatory association for commodities professionals other than the exchanges. As such, the NFA promulgates rules governing the conduct of commodity professionals and disciplines those professionals that do not comply with such standards. The CFTC has delegated to the NFA responsibility for the registration of commodity pool operators. USCF is a member of the NFA. As a member of the NFA, USCF is subject to NFA standards relating to fair trade practices, financial condition, and consumer protection.

The CEA requires all FCMs, i.e., USO’s clearing brokers, to meet and maintain specified fitness and financial requirements, to segregate customer funds from proprietary funds and account separately for all customers’ funds and positions, and to maintain specified books and records open to inspection by the staff of the CFTC. The CFTC has similar authority over introducing brokers, or persons who solicit or accept orders for commodity interest trades but who do not accept margin deposits for the execution of trades. The CEA authorizes the CFTC to regulate trading by FCMs and by their officers and directors, permits the CFTC to require action by exchanges in the event of market emergencies, and establishes an administrative procedure under which customers may institute complaints for damages arising from alleged violations of the CEA.

The regulations of the CFTC and the NFA prohibit any representation by a person registered with the CFTC or by any member of the NFA, that registration with the CFTC, or membership in the NFA, in any respect indicates that the CFTC or the NFA, as the case may be, has approved or endorsed that person or that person’s trading program or objectives. The registrations and memberships of the parties described in this summary must not be considered as constituting any such approval or endorsement. Likewise, no futures exchange has given or will give any similar approval or endorsement.

CFTC regulations require enhanced customer protections, risk management programs, internal monitoring and controls, capital and liquidity standards, customer disclosures and auditing and examination programs for FCMs. These regulations are intended to afford greater assurances to market participants that customer segregated funds and secured amounts are protected, customers are provided with appropriate notice of the risks of futures trading and of the FCMs with which they may choose to do business, FCMs are monitoring and managing risks in a robust manner, the capital and liquidity of FCMs are strengthened to safeguard the continued operations, and the auditing and examination programs of the CFTC and the self-regulatory organizations are monitoring the activities of FCMs in a thorough manner.

USO’s investors are afforded prescribed rights for reparations under the CEA against USCF (as a registered commodity pool operator), as well as its respective employees who are required to be registered under the CEA. Investors may also be able to maintain a private right of action for violations of the CEA. The CFTC has adopted rules implementing the reparation provisions of the CEA, which provide that any person may file a complaint for a reparations award with the CFTC for violation of the CEA against a floor broker or an FCM, introducing broker, commodity trading advisor, CPO, and their respective associated persons.

The regulation of commodity interest trading in the United States and other countries is an evolving area of the law. Below are discussed several key regulatory items that are relevant to USO. The various statements made in this summary are subject to modification by legislative action and changes in the rules and regulations of the CFTC, the NFA, the futures exchanges, clearing organizations and other regulatory bodies. In addition, with regard to any other rules that the CFTC or SEC may adopt in the future, the effect of any such regulatory changes on USO is impossible to predict, but it could be substantial and adverse.

Futures Contracts and Position Limits

The Position Limits Rule establishes federal position limits for 25 core referenced futures contracts (comprised of agricultural, energy and metals futures contracts), futures and options linked to the core referenced futures contracts, and swaps that are economically equivalent to the core referenced futures contracts that all market participants must comply with, with certain exemptions.

The Benchmark Oil Futures Contract is subject to position limits under the Position Limits Rule, and USO’s trading does not qualify for an exemption therefrom. Accordingly, the Position Limits Rule could limit USO’s ability to invest in the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract and thereby could negatively impact the ability of USO to meet its investment objective.

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Margin Requirements

Futures and Cleared Swaps

Original or initial margin is the minimum amount of funds that must be deposited by a commodity interest trader with the trader’s broker to initiate and maintain an open position in futures contracts. Maintenance margin is the amount (generally less than the original margin) to which a trader’s account may decline before he must deliver additional margin. A margin deposit is like a cash performance bond. It helps assure the trader’s performance of the futures contracts that he or she purchases or sells.

Futures contracts are customarily bought and sold on initial margin that represents a very small percentage (ranging upward from 5%) of the aggregate purchase or sales price of the contract. Because of such low margin requirements, price fluctuations occurring in the futures markets may create profits and losses that, in relation to the amount invested, are greater than are customary in other forms of investment or speculation. As discussed below, adverse price changes in the futures contract may result in margin requirements that greatly exceed the initial margin. In addition, the amount of margin required in connection with a particular futures contract is set from time to time by the exchange on which the contract is traded and may be modified from time to time by the exchange during the term of the contract.

Brokerage firms, such as USO’s clearing brokers, carrying accounts for traders in commodity interest contracts may not accept lower, and generally require higher, amounts of margin as a matter of policy to further protect themselves. The clearing brokers require USO to make margin deposits equal to exchange minimum levels for all commodity interest contracts. This requirement may be altered from time to time in the clearing brokers’ discretion.

Margin requirements are computed each day by the relevant clearing organization and a trader’s clearing broker. When the market value of a particular open commodity interest position changes to a point where the margin on deposit does not satisfy maintenance margin requirements, a margin call is made by the broker. With respect to trading by USO, USO (and not its investors personally) is subject to margin calls.

Finally, many major U.S. exchanges have passed certain cross margining arrangements involving procedures pursuant to which the futures and options positions held in an account would, in the case of some accounts, be aggregated and margin requirements would be assessed on a portfolio basis, measuring the total risk of the combined positions.

Options

When a trader purchases an option, there is no margin requirement; however, the option premium must be paid in full. When a trader sells an option, on the other hand, he or she may be required to deposit margin in an amount determined by the margin requirements established for the underlying interest and, in addition, an amount substantially equal to the current premium for the option. The margin requirements imposed on the selling of options, although adjusted to reflect the probability that out-of-the-money options will not be exercised, can in fact be higher than those imposed in dealing in the futures markets directly. Complicated margin requirements apply to spreads and conversions, which are complex trading strategies in which a trader acquires a mixture of options positions and positions in the underlying interest.

OTC Swaps

Rules put in place by U.S. federal banking regulators, the CFTC and the SEC require the daily exchange of variation margin and initial margin for swaps between swap dealers, major swap participants, security-based swap dealers, and major security-based swap participants (“Swap Entities”) and swaps between Swap Entities and their counterparties that are “financial end-users” (such rules, the “Margin Rules”). The Margin Rules require Swap Entities to exchange variation margin with all of their counterparties who are financial end-users. The minimum variation margin amount is the daily mark-to-market change in the value of the swap, taking into account the amount of variation margin previously posted or collected. Swap Entities are required to exchange initial margin with their financial end-users who have “material swaps exposure” (i.e., an average daily aggregate notional of $8 billion or more in non-cleared swaps calculated in accordance with the Margin Rules). The Margin Rules specify the types of collateral that may be posted or collected as initial margin or variation margin (generally cash, certain government, government-sponsored enterprise securities, certain liquid debt, certain equity securities, certain eligible publicly traded debt, and gold) and sets forth haircuts for certain collateral asset classes.

USO is not a Swap Entity under the Margin Rules, but is a financial end-user. Accordingly, USO will be subject to the variation margin requirements of the Margin Rules for any swaps that it enters into. However, USO does not have material swaps exposure and, accordingly, will not be subject to the initial margin requirements of the Margin Rules.

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Mandatory Trading and Clearing of Swaps

CFTC regulations require that certain swap transactions be executed on organized exchanges or “swap execution facilities” and cleared through regulated clearing organizations (“derivative clearing organizations” (“DCOs”)), if the CFTC mandates the central clearing of a particular class of swap and such swap is “made available to trade” on a swap execution facility. Currently, swap dealers, major swap participants, commodity pools, certain private funds and entities predominantly engaged in activities that are financial in nature are required to execute on a swap execution facility, and clear, certain interest rate swaps and index-based credit default swaps. As a result, if a Trust enters into an interest rate or index-based credit default swap that is subject to these requirements, such swap will be required to be executed on a swap execution facility and centrally cleared. Mandatory clearing and “made available to trade” determinations with respect to additional types of swaps may be issued in the future, and, when finalized, could require USO to electronically execute and centrally clear certain OTC instruments presently entered into and settled on a bi-lateral basis. If a swap is required to be cleared, initial and variation margin requirements are set by the relevant clearing organization, subject to certain regulatory requirements and guidelines. Additional margin may be required and held by USO’s FCM.

Other Requirements for Swaps

Swaps that are not required to be cleared and executed on a SEF but that are executed bilaterally are also subject to various requirements pursuant to CFTC regulations, including, among other things, reporting and recordkeeping requirements and, depending on the status of the counterparties, trading documentation requirements and dispute resolution requirements.

Derivatives Regulations in Non-U.S. Jurisdictions

In addition to U.S. laws and regulations, USO may be subject to non-U.S. derivatives laws and regulations if it engages in futures and/or swap transactions with non-U.S. persons. For example, USO may be impacted by European laws and regulations to the extent that it engages in futures transactions on European exchanges or derivatives transactions with European entities. Other jurisdictions impose requirements applicable to futures and derivatives that are similar to those imposed by the U.S., including position limits, margin, clearing and trade execution requirements.

The CFTC is generally prohibited by statute from regulating trading on non-U.S. futures exchanges and markets. The CFTC, however, has adopted regulations relating to the marketing of non-U.S. futures contracts in the United States. These regulations permit certain contracts on non-U.S. exchanges to be offered and sold in the United States.

SEC Reports

USO makes available, free of charge, on its website, its annual reports on Form 10-K, its quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, its current reports on Form 8-K and amendments to these reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Exchange Act as soon as reasonably practicable after these forms are filed with, or furnished to, the SEC. These reports are also available from the SEC through its website at: www.sec.gov.

CFTC Reports

USO also makes available its monthly reports and its annual reports required to be prepared and filed with the NFA under the CFTC regulations.

Intellectual Property

USCF owns trademark registrations for UNITED STATES OIL FUND (U.S. Reg. No. 3240929) for “Investment services in the field of oil futures contracts and other oil interests,” in use since April 30, 2006, USO UNITED STATES OIL FUND, LP (and Flame Design) (U.S. Reg. No. 4440928) for “Financial investment services in the field of oil futures contracts, cash-settled options on oil futures contracts, forward contracts for oil, over-the-counter transactions based on the price of oil, and indices based on the foregoing,” in use since September 30, 2012, and THE ORIGINAL OIL ETF, (U.S. Reg. No. 4472747) for “Fund investment services in the field of oil futures contracts, cash-settled options on oil futures contracts, forward contracts for oil, over-the-counter transactions based on the price of oil, and indices based on the foregoing,” in use since September 23, 2013. USCF relies upon these trademarks through which it markets its services and strives to build and maintain brand recognition in the market and among current and potential investors. So long as USCF continues to use these trademarks to identify its services, without challenge from any third party, and properly maintains and renews the trademark registrations under applicable laws, rules and regulations, it will continue to have indefinite protection for these trademarks under current laws, rules and regulations.

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USCF owns trademark registrations for USCF (and Design) (U.S. Reg. No. 5127374) for “Fund investment services,” in use since April 10, 2016, USCF (U.S. Reg No. 5040755) for “Fund investment services,” in use since June 24, 2008, and INVEST IN WHAT’S REAL (U.S. Reg. No. 5450808) for “Fund investment services,” in use since April 2016. USCF relies upon these trademarks and service mark through which it markets its services and strives to build and maintain brand recognition in the market and among current and potential investors. So long as USCF continues to use these trademarks to identify its services, without challenge from any third party, and properly maintains and renews the trademark registrations under applicable laws, rules and regulations; it will continue to have indefinite protection for these trademarks under current laws, rules and regulations. USCF has been granted two patents Nos. 7,739,186 and 8,019,675, for systems and methods for an exchange traded fund (ETF) that tracks the price of one or more commodities.

Item 1A. Risk Factors.

The following risk factors should be read in connection with the other information included in this annual report on Form 10-K, including Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations and USO’s financial statements and the related notes.

USO’s investment objective is for the daily percentage changes in the NAV per share to reflect the daily percentage changes of the spot price of light, sweet crude oil, as measured by the daily percentage changes in the price of Benchmark Oil Futures Contract, plus interest earned on USO’s collateral holdings, less USO’s expenses. USO seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing so that the average daily percentage change in USO’s NAV for any period of 30 successive valuation days will be within plus/minus ten percent (10%) of the average daily percentage change in the price of the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract over the same period. As a result, investors should be aware that USO would meet its investment objective even if there are significant deviations between changes in its daily NAV and changes in the daily price of the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract provided that the average daily percentage change in USO’s NAV over 30 successive valuation days is within plus/minus ten percent (10%) of the average daily percentage change in the price of the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract over the same period.

USO is currently invested in Oil Futures Contracts in months other than the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract. This has impacted the performance of USO and its ability meet its investment objective within as narrow a percentage difference between the average daily percentage change in USO’s NAV for any period of 30 successive valuation days and the average daily percentage change in the price of the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract as it typically had prior to the Spring of 2020.

Following the significant market volatility that occurred in the Spring of 2020 and the market conditions, regulatory requirements and risk mitigation measures taken by USO and USO’s FCM that impacted USO as a result thereof, USO previously disclosed the parameters for making decisions regarding the permitted investments USO would hold, including the intended order of priority in selecting investments and the type of investments to be held in its portfolio. Beginning with the monthly roll in September 2023 and ending with the monthly roll in January 2024, USO’s intention is to begin transitioning its investment portfolio so that it will primarily invest in Benchmark Oil Futures Contracts, consistent with USO’s investment strategy prior to the Spring of 2020. However, USO has had, and will continue to have, the ability to invest in Oil Futures Contracts beyond the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract and Other Oil-Related Investments, such as OTC swaps, and USO may make such investments if market conditions, regulatory requirements, risk mitigation measures (including those that may be taken by USO, USO’s FCMs, counterparties or other market participants), liquidity requirements, or other factors require USO to do so in order to meet its investment objective. USO may invest in Oil Futures Contracts beyond the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract, and/or Other Oil-Related Investments, as a result or in response to any of the foregoing factors.

USO will continue to disclose its end of day portfolio on its website, www.uscfinvestments.com. The end of day portfolio disclosed on USO’s website would reflect any investments in Oil Futures Contracts beyond the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract, and/or Other Oil-Related Investments made in light of market conditions, regulatory requirements, risk mitigation measures (including those that may be taken by USO, USO’s FCMs, counterparties or other market participants), liquidity requirements, or other factors. Independent of the USO website, USO may make available portfolio holdings information to Authorized Participants that reflects the Fund’s anticipated holdings on the following business day.

An investment in USO involves investment risk similar to a direct investment in Oil Futures Contracts and Other Oil-Related Investments but it is not a proxy for investing in the oil markets. Investing in USO also involves correlation risk, or the risk that investors purchasing shares to hedge against movements in the price of crude oil will have an efficient hedge only if the price they pay for their shares closely correlates with the price of crude oil. In addition to investment risk and correlation risk, an investment in USO involves tax risks, OTC risks, and other risks.

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Investment Risk

The NAV of USO’s shares relates directly to the value of the Benchmark Oil Futures Contracts and other assets held by USO and fluctuations in the prices of these assets could materially adversely affect an investment in USO’s shares. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results; all or substantially all of an investment in USO could be lost.

The net assets of USO consist primarily of investments in Oil Futures Contracts and, to a lesser extent, in Other Oil-Related Investments. The NAV of USO’s shares relates directly to the value of these assets (less liabilities, including accrued but unpaid expenses), which in turn relates to the price of light, sweet crude oil in the marketplace. Crude oil prices depend on local, regional and global events or conditions that affect supply and demand for oil.

Economic conditions impacting crude oil. The demand for crude oil correlates closely with general economic growth rates. The occurrence of recessions or other periods of low or negative economic growth will typically have a direct adverse impact on crude oil demand and, therefore, may have an adverse impact on crude oil prices. Other factors that affect general economic conditions in the world or in a major region, such as changes in population growth rates, periods of civil unrest, military conflicts, war (such as the current war between Russia and Ukraine), pandemics (e.g., COVID-19), government austerity programs, or currency exchange rate fluctuations, can also impact the demand for crude oil. Sovereign debt downgrades, defaults, inability to access debt markets due to credit or legal constraints, liquidity crises, the breakup or restructuring of fiscal, monetary, or political systems such as the European Union, and other events or conditions (e.g., pandemics such as COVID-19) that impair the functioning of financial markets and institutions also may adversely impact the demand for crude oil.

Other crude oil demand-related factors. Other factors that may affect the demand for crude oil and therefore its price, include technological improvements in energy efficiency; seasonal weather patterns, which affect the demand for crude oil associated with heating and cooling; increased competitiveness of alternative energy sources that have so far generally not been competitive with oil without the benefit of government subsidies or mandates; and changes in technology or consumer preferences that alter fuel choices, such as toward alternative fueled vehicles or electric transportation and broad-based changes in personal income levels.

Other crude oil supply-related factors. Crude oil prices also vary depending on a number of factors affecting supply, including geopolitical risk associated with wars (such as the current war between Russia and Ukraine), terrorist attacks and tensions between countries, including sanctions imposed as a result of the foregoing that can adversely affect commodity trade flows by limiting or disrupting trade between countries or regions. For example, increased supply from the development of new oil supply sources and technologies to enhance recovery from existing sources tends to reduce crude oil prices to the extent such supply increases are not offset by commensurate growth in demand. Similarly, increases in industry refining or petrochemical manufacturing capacity may impact the supply of crude oil. World oil supply levels can also be affected by factors that reduce available supplies, such as adherence by member countries to OPEC production quotas and the occurrence of geopolitical risks associated with wars, terrorist attacks and tensions between countries, including sanctions imposed as a result of the foregoing that can adversely affect commodity trade flows by limiting or disrupting trade between countries or regions, natural disasters, disruptions in competitors’ operations, or unexpected unavailability of distribution channels that may disrupt supplies. Technological change can also alter the relative costs for companies in the petroleum industry to find, produce, and refine oil and to manufacture petrochemicals, which in turn may affect the supply of and demand for oil.

Other factors impacting the crude oil market. The supply of and demand for crude oil may also be impacted by changes in interest rates, inflation, and other local or regional market conditions, as well as by the development of alternative energy sources.

Price volatility may possibly cause the total loss of your investment. Futures contracts have a high degree of price variability and are subject to occasional rapid and substantial changes. Consequently, you could lose all or substantially all of your investment in USO. Significant market volatility has recently occurred in the commodities markets and the oil futures markets. Such volatility is attributable in part to the COVID-19 pandemic, related supply chain disruptions, war, including the war between Russia and Ukraine, and continuing disputes among oil-producing countries. These and other events could cause continuing or increased volatility in the future, which may affect the value, pricing and liquidity of some investments or other assets, including those held by or invested in by USO and the impact of which could limit USO’s ability to have a substantial portion of its assets invested in the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract. In such a circumstance, USO could, if it determined it appropriate to do so in light of market conditions and regulatory requirements, invest in other Futures Contracts and/or Other Oil-Related Investments, such as OTC swaps.

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Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and sanctions brought by the United States and other countries against Russia and others, have caused disruptions in many business sectors, resulting in significant market disruptions that may lead to increased volatility in the price of certain commodities, and may lead to volatility in USO’s NAV or share price.

On February 24, 2022, Russia launched a large-scale invasion of Ukraine. The extent and duration of the military action, and resulting sanctions, and future market or supply disruptions in the region, are impossible to predict, but could be significant and may have a severe adverse effect on the region.

The United States and other countries and certain international organizations have imposed broad-ranging economic sanctions on Russia and certain Russian individuals, banking entities and corporations as a response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and additional sanctions may be imposed in the future. Such sanctions (and any future sanctions) will adversely impact the economies of Russia and Ukraine, and certain sectors of each country’s economy may be particularly affected, including but not limited to, financial services, energy, metals and mining, engineering and defense and defense-related materials sectors. Among other things, the extent and duration of the military action, the responses of countries and political bodies to Russia’s actions, including sanctions, future market or supply disruptions, and Ukraine’s military response and the potential for wider conflict may increase financial market volatility generally, have severe adverse effects on regional and global economic markets, and cause volatility in the markets for commodities including the price of energy, including energy futures, and the NAV or share price of USO.

A resolution to the war in Ukraine also could impact the markets for certain commodities, and may have collateral impacts, including increased volatility, and cause disruptions to the availability of certain commodities, commodity and futures prices and the supply chain globally. The longer-term impact on commodities and futures prices, including the price of the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract, is difficult to predict and depends on a number of factors that may have a negative impact on USO in the future.

Infectious disease outbreaks like COVID-19 could negatively affect the valuation and performance of USO’s investments.

An outbreak of infectious respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus known as COVID-19 was first detected in China in December 2019 and spread globally. In March 2020, the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic. COVID-19 resulted in numerous deaths, travel restrictions, closed international borders, enhanced health screenings at ports of entry and elsewhere, disruption of and delays in healthcare service preparation and delivery, prolonged quarantines and the imposition of both local and more widespread “work from home” measures, cancellations, loss of employment, supply chain disruptions, and lower consumer and institutional demand for goods and services, as well as general concern and uncertainty. The spread of COVID-19 had a material adverse impact on local economies in the affected jurisdictions and also on the global economy, as cross border commercial activity and market sentiment were impacted by the outbreak and government and other measures seeking to contain its spread. COVID-19 had a material adverse impact on the crude oil markets and oil futures markets to the extent economic activity and the use of crude oil continues to be curtailed, which in turn had a significant adverse effect on the prices of Oil Futures Contracts, including the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract and Other Oil-Related Investments.

Infectious disease outbreaks like COVID-19 may arise in the future and could adversely affect individual issuers and capital markets in ways that cannot necessarily be foreseen. In addition, actions taken by government and quasi-governmental authorities and regulators throughout the world in response to such an outbreak, including the potential for significant fiscal and monetary policy changes, may affect the value, volatility, pricing and liquidity of some investments or other assets, including those held by or invested in by USO. Public health crises caused by infectious disease outbreaks may exacerbate other pre-existing political, social and economic risks in certain countries or globally and their duration cannot be determined with certainty.

Historical performance of USO and the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract is not indicative of future performance.

Past performance of USO or the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract is not necessarily indicative of future results. Therefore, past performance of USO or the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract should not be relied upon in deciding whether to buy shares of USO.

Correlation Risk

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An investment in USO may provide little or no diversification benefits. Thus, in a declining market, USO may have no gains to offset losses from other investments, and an investor may suffer losses on an investment in USO while incurring losses with respect to other asset classes.

Investors purchasing shares to hedge against movements in the price of crude oil will have an efficient hedge only if the price investors pay for their shares closely correlates with the price of crude oil. Investing in USO’s shares for hedging purposes includes the following risks:

The market price at which the investor buys or sells shares may be significantly less or more than NAV.
Daily percentage changes in NAV may not closely correlate with daily percentage changes in the price of the Benchmark Oil Futures Contracts.
Daily percentage changes in the price of the Benchmark Oil Futures Contracts may not closely correlate with daily percentage changes in the price light, sweet crude oil.

Historically, Oil Futures Contracts and Other Oil-Related Investments have generally been non-correlated to the performance of other asset classes such as stocks and bonds. Non-correlation means that there is a low statistically valid relationship between the performance of futures and other commodity interest transactions, on the one hand, and stocks or bonds, on the other hand.

However, there can be no assurance that such non-correlation will continue during future periods. If, contrary to historic patterns, USO’s performance were to move in the same general direction as the financial markets, investors will obtain little or no diversification benefits from an investment in USO’s shares. In such a case, USO may have no gains to offset losses from other investments, and investors may suffer losses on their investment in USO at the same time they incur losses with respect to other investments.

Variables such as drought, floods, weather, military conflicts, pandemics (such as COVID-19), embargoes, tariffs and other political events may have a larger impact on crude oil prices and crude oil-linked instruments, including Oil Futures Contracts and Other Oil-Related Investments, than on traditional securities. These additional variables may create additional investment risks that subject USO’s investments to greater volatility than investments in traditional securities.

Non-correlation should not be confused with negative correlation, where the performance of two asset classes would be opposite of each other. There is no historical evidence that the spot price of crude oil and prices of other financial assets, such as stocks and bonds, are negatively correlated. In the absence of negative correlation, USO cannot be expected to be automatically profitable during unfavorable periods for the stock market, or vice versa.

The market price at which investors buy or sell shares may be significantly less or more than NAV.

USO’s NAV per share will change throughout the day as fluctuations occur in the market value of USO’s portfolio investments. The public trading price at which an investor buys or sells shares during the day from their broker may be different from the NAV of the shares, which is also the price shares can be redeemed with USO by Authorized Participants in Redemption Baskets. Generally, price differences may relate primarily to supply and demand forces at work in the secondary trading market for shares that are closely related to, but not identical to, the same forces influencing the prices of light, sweet crude oil and the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract at any point in time. USCF expects that exploitation of certain arbitrage opportunities by Authorized Participants and their clients will tend to cause the public trading price to track NAV per share closely over time, but there can be no assurance of that. For example, a shortage of USO shares in the market and other factors could cause USO’s shares to trade at a premium. Investors should be aware that such premiums can be transitory. To the extent an investor purchases shares that include a premium (e.g., because of a shortage of shares in the market due to the inability of Authorized Participants to purchase additional shares from USO that could be resold into the market) and the cause of the premium no longer exists causing the premium to disappear (e.g., because more shares are available for purchase from USO by Authorized Participants that could be resold into the market) such investor’s return on its investment would be adversely impacted due to the loss of the premium.

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The NAV of USO’s shares may also be influenced by non-concurrent trading hours between the NYSE Arca and the various futures exchanges on which light, sweet crude oil is traded. While the shares trade on the NYSE Arca from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time, the trading hours for the futures exchanges on which light, sweet crude oil trades may not necessarily coincide during all of this time. For example, while the shares trade on the NYSE Arca until 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time, liquidity in the global light, sweet crude oil market may be reduced after the determination of the settlement price by the NYMEX at 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time. USO’s NAV is calculated based on the settlement price of Oil Futures Contracts at 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time and the closing share price of USO on the NYSE Arca takes into account changes in the price of Oil Futures Contracts that occur after the settlement price is determined. As a result, during periods when the NYSE Arca is open and the futures exchanges on which light, sweet crude oil is traded are closed, trading spreads and the resulting premium or discount on the shares may widen and, therefore, increase the difference between the price of the shares and the NAV of the shares.

Daily percentage changes in USO’s NAV may not correlate with daily percentage changes in the price of the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract.

It is possible that the daily percentage changes in USO’s NAV per share may not closely correlate to daily percentage changes in the price of the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract. Non-correlation may be attributable to disruptions in the market for light, sweet crude oil, the imposition of position or accountability limits by regulators or exchanges, or other extraordinary circumstances. As USO approaches or reaches position limits with respect to the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract and other Oil Futures Contracts or in view of market conditions, regulatory requirements, risk mitigation measures (including those that may be taken by USO, USO’s FCMs, counterparties or other market participants) and other conditions as described herein, USO has and may invest in Oil Futures Contracts other than the Benchmark Oil Futures Contact and Other Oil-Related Investments which may cause less correlation with daily percentage changes in the price of the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract than investments in the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract. In addition, USO is not able to replicate exactly the changes in the price of the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract because the total return generated by USO is reduced by expenses and transaction costs, including those incurred in connection with USO’s trading activities, and increased by interest income from USO’s holdings of Treasuries (defined below).

Daily percentage changes in the price of the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract may not correlate with daily percentage changes in the spot price of light, sweet crude oil.

The correlation between changes in price of the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract and the spot price of light, sweet crude oil may at times be only approximate. The degree of imperfection of correlation depends upon circumstances such as variations in the speculative crude oil market, supply of and demand for Oil Futures Contracts (including the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract) and Other Oil-Related Investments, and technical influences in gasoline futures trading.

An investment in USO is not a proxy for investing in the oil markets, and the daily percentage changes in the price of the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract, or the NAV of USO, may not correlate with daily percentage changes in the spot price of light, sweet crude oil.

An investment in USO is not a proxy for investing in the oil markets. To the extent that investors use USO as a means of indirectly investing in crude oil, there is the risk that the daily changes in the price of USO’s shares on the NYSE Arca, on a percentage basis, will not closely track the daily changes in the spot price of light, sweet crude oil on a percentage basis. This could happen if the price of shares traded on the NYSE Arca does not correlate closely with the value of USO’s NAV; the changes in USO’s NAV do not correlate closely with the changes in the price of the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract; or the changes in the price of the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract do not closely correlate with the changes in the cash or spot price of crude oil. This is a risk because if these correlations do not exist, then investors may not be able to use USO as a cost-effective way to indirectly invest in crude oil or as a hedge against the risk of loss in crude oil-related transactions. The degree of correlation among USO’s share price, the price of the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract and the spot price of crude oil depends upon circumstances such as variations in the speculative oil market, supply of and demand for Oil Futures Contracts (including the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract) and Other Oil-Related Investments, and technical influences on trading oil futures contracts. Investors who are not experienced in investing in oil futures contracts or the factors that influence that market or speculative trading in the crude oil markets and may not have the background or ready access to the types of information that investors familiar with these markets may have and, as a result, may be at greater risk of incurring losses from trading in USO shares than such other investors with such experience and resources.

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Natural forces in the oil futures market known as “backwardation” and “contango” may increase USO’s tracking error and/or negatively impact total return.

USO’s Benchmark Oil Futures Contract is the near month contract to expire until the near month contract approaches expiration when, over a ten-day period beginning on the first business day of each month, the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract transitions to the next month contract to expire and remains that contract until the next roll period. Between roll periods, the near month contract expires and the next near month contract becomes the near month. In the event of a crude oil futures market where near month contracts trade at a higher price than next month to expire contracts, a situation described as “backwardation” in the futures market, then absent the impact of the overall movement in light, sweet crude oil prices the value of the benchmark contract would tend to rise as it approaches expiration. Conversely, in the event of a crude oil futures market where near month contracts trade at a lower price than next month contracts, a situation described as “contango” in the futures market, then absent the impact of the overall movement in crude oil prices, the value of the benchmark contract would tend to decline as it approaches expiration.

While contango and backwardation are consistently present in trading in the futures markets, such conditions can be exacerbated by market forces. For example, extraordinary market conditions in the crude oil markets, including “super contango” (a higher level of contango arising from the overabundance of oil being produced and the limited availability of storage for such excess supply), occurred in the crude oil futures markets in April 2020 due to over-supply of crude oil in the face of weak demand during the COVID-19 pandemic when disputes among oil-producing countries regarding limitations on the production of oil also were occurring.

As a result of market and regulatory conditions, including significant market volatility, large numbers of USO shares purchased during a short period of time, applicable regulatory accountability levels and position limits on oil futures contracts and risk mitigation measures that were taken by USO and USO’s FCM in 2020, USO invested in, and continues to invest in, Oil Futures Contracts with expiration dates for months later than that of the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract. Holdings in later month contracts will typically cause USO to experience lesser effects from contango and backwardation than would be the case if USO’s holdings were primarily in oil futures contracts in the first month or second month. While USO continues to invest in later month contracts, when USO’s futures portfolio returns to being primarily invested in the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract (beginning in September 2023), it will be subject to greater effects of contango and backwardation.

When compared to total return of other price indices, such as the spot price of crude oil, the impact of backwardation and contango may cause the total return of USO’s per share NAV to vary significantly. Moreover, absent the impact of rising or falling oil prices, a prolonged period of contango could have a significant negative impact on USO’s per share NAV and total return and investors could lose part or all of their investment. See “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” in this annual report on Form 10-K for a discussion of the potential effects of contango and backwardation.

Accountability levels, position limits, and daily price fluctuation limits set by the exchanges have the potential to cause tracking error, by limiting USO’s investments, including its ability to fully invest in the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract, which means that changes in the price of shares could substantially vary from the changes in the price of the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract.

Designated contract markets, such as the NYMEX and ICE Futures, have established accountability levels and position limits on the maximum net long or net short futures contracts in commodity interests that any person or group of persons under common trading control (other than as a hedge, which an investment by USO is not) may hold, own or control. These levels and position limits apply to the futures contracts that USO invests in to meet its investment objective. In addition to accountability levels and position limits, the NYMEX and ICE Futures may also set daily price limits on futures contracts. The daily price fluctuation limit establishes the maximum amount that the price of a futures contract may vary either up or down from the previous day’s settlement price. Once the daily price fluctuation limit has been reached in a particular futures contract, no trades may be made at a price beyond that limit. The accountability levels for the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract and other Oil Futures Contracts traded on U.S.-based futures exchanges, such as the NYMEX, are not a fixed ceiling, but rather a threshold above which the NYMEX may exercise greater scrutiny and control over an investor’s positions. The NYMEX current accountability level for investments for any one-month in the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract is 10,000 contracts. In addition, the NYMEX imposes an accountability level for all months of 20,000 net futures contracts for light, sweet crude oil. In addition, the ICE Futures Europe maintains the same accountability levels, position limits and monitoring authority for its futures contracts for light, sweet crude oil contract as the NYMEX. If USO and the Related Public Funds exceed these accountability levels for investments in the futures contracts for light, sweet crude oil, the NYMEX and ICE Futures Europe will monitor such exposure and may ask for further information on their activities, including the total size of all positions, investment and trading strategy, and the extent of liquidity resources of USO and the Related Public Funds. If deemed necessary by the NYMEX and/or ICE Futures Europe, USO could be ordered to reduce its net futures contracts back to the accountability level.

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Position limits differ from accountability levels in that they represent fixed limits on the maximum number of futures contracts that any person may hold and cannot be exceeded without express CFTC authority to do so. In addition to accountability levels and position limits that may apply at any time, the NYMEX and ICE Futures impose position limits on contracts held in the last few days of trading in the near month contract to expire. Investors should note that the foregoing accountability levels and position limits are subject to change, which in turn could change the amount and type of permitted investments in which USO invests.

Part 150 of the CFTC’s regulations (the “Position Limits Rule”) establishes federal position limits for 25 core referenced futures contracts (comprised of agricultural, energy and metals futures contracts), futures and options linked to the core referenced futures contracts, and swaps that are economically equivalent to the core referenced futures contracts that all market participants must comply with, with certain exemptions.

The Benchmark Oil Futures Contract is subject to position limits under the Position Limits Rule, and USO’s trading does not qualify for an exemption therefrom. Accordingly, the Position Limits Rule could inhibit USO’s ability to invest in the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract and thereby could negatively impact the ability of USO to meet its investment objective.

USO has not limited the size of its offering and is committed to utilizing substantially all of its proceeds to purchase Oil Futures Contracts and Other Oil-Related Investments. If USO encounters accountability levels, position limits (including those set by the Position Limits Rule), or price fluctuation limits for Oil Futures Contracts on the NYMEX or ICE Futures, it may then, if permitted under applicable regulatory requirements, purchase Oil Futures Contracts on other exchanges that trade listed crude oil futures or enter into swaps or other permitted investments to meet its investment objective. In addition, if USO exceeds accountability levels on either the NYMEX or ICE Futures and is required by such exchanges to reduce its holdings, such reduction could potentially cause a tracking error between the price of USO’s shares and the price of the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract.

Risk mitigation measures imposed by USO’s FCMs have the potential to cause tracking error by limiting USO’s investments, including its ability to fully invest in the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract and other Oil Futures Contracts, which means that the changes in the price of USO’s shares could substantially vary from changes in the price of the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract.

USO’s FCMs have in the past imposed, and may in the future impose, limits on the positions that USO may hold in the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract as well as certain other months that constrain USO’s ability to invest in the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract and other Oil Futures Contracts. For example, in the Spring of 2020, RBC Capital Markets, LLC (“RBC”) expressly informed USO that USO could not hold positions in the June Benchmark Oil Futures Contract expiring on May 19, 2020. At the time RBC imposed this restriction, RBC continued to trade and clear other Oil Futures Contracts for USO, including in connection with rolls and rebalances of its portfolio. At that time, RBC advised USO that, going forward, USO may only purchase additional Benchmark Oil Futures Contracts and other Oil Futures Contracts through RBC for rolls and rebalances of USO’s portfolio and not as investments for the proceeds of new Creation Baskets. The limits imposed by RBC on holdings in USO’s portfolio applied regardless of whether the Oil Futures Contracts purchased would be within the accountability levels and position limits permitted by NYMEX and ICE. Since then, RBC allowed USO to resume purchasing Oil Futures Contracts, including the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract, for investment of the proceeds from Creation Baskets.

USO entered into an agreement with each of Marex North America, LLC, formerly RCG Division of Marex Spectron (“MNA”), E D & F Man Capital Markets Inc. (“MCM”), Macquarie Futures USA LLC (“MFUSA”), and ADM Investor Services, Inc. (“ADMIS”) on May 28, 2020, June 5, 2020, December 3, 2020 and August 8, 2023, respectively, to become additional FCMs for USO, none of which have precluded USO from purchasing, holding, or reinvesting the proceeds from the purchases of Creation Baskets in Oil Futures Contracts, including the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract. However, limits could be imposed by any of USO’s FCMs that limit USO’s ability to have a substantial portion of its assets invested in the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract. USO cannot predict with any certainty whether, or to what extent, any limitations may be imposed on USO by any FCM in the future.

In addition, when offering Creation Baskets for purchase, limitations imposed by exchanges and/or any of USO’s FCMs could limit USO’s ability to invest the proceeds of the purchases of Creation Baskets in Benchmark Oil Futures Contracts and other Oil Futures Contracts. If this were the case, when selling Creation Baskets, USO may invest in other permitted investments, including Other Oil-Related Investments, and may hold larger amounts of Treasuries, cash and cash equivalents, which could impair USO’s ability to meet its investment objective.

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Tax Risk

An investor’s tax liability may exceed the amount of distributions, if any, on its shares.

Cash or property will be distributed at the sole discretion of USCF. USCF has not and does not currently intend to make cash or other distributions with respect to shares. Investors will be required to pay U.S. federal income tax and, in some cases, state, local, or foreign income tax, on their allocable share of USO’s taxable income, without regard to whether they receive distributions or the amount or value of any such distributions. Therefore, the tax liability of an investor with respect to its shares may exceed the amount of cash or value of property (if any) distributed with respect to such shares.

An investor’s allocable share of taxable income or loss may differ from economic income or loss on the shares.

Due to the application of the assumptions and conventions applied by USO in making allocations for tax purposes and other factors, an investor’s allocable share of USO’s income, gain, deduction, loss, or credit may be different than economic profit or loss from the shares for a taxable year. This difference could be temporary or permanent and, if permanent, could result in it being taxed on amounts in excess of its economic income.

Items of income, gain, deduction, loss and credit with respect to shares could be reallocated, for U.S. federal income tax purposes, and USO could be liable for U.S. federal income tax, if the IRS does not accept the assumptions and conventions applied by USO in allocating those items, with potential adverse consequences for an investor.

The U.S. federal income tax rules pertaining to partnerships are complex and their application to large, publicly traded partnerships such as USO is in many respects uncertain. USO applies certain assumptions and conventions in an attempt to comply with the intent of the applicable rules and to report taxable income, gains, deductions, losses and credits in a manner that properly reflects shareholders’ economic gains and losses. It is possible that the IRS could successfully challenge the application by USO of these assumptions and conventions as not fully complying with all aspects of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), and applicable Treasury Regulations, which would require USO to reallocate items of income, gain, deduction, loss or credit in a manner that adversely affects investors. If this occurs, investors may be required to file an amended U.S. federal income tax return and to pay additional taxes, plus deficiency interest, and may be subject to penalties.

USO may be liable for U.S. federal income tax on any “imputed underpayment” of tax resulting from an adjustment as a result of an IRS audit. The amount of the imputed underpayment generally includes increases in allocations of items of income or gain to any investor and decreases in allocations of items of deduction, loss, or credit to any investor without any offset for corresponding reductions in allocations of items of income or gain to any investor or increases in allocations of items of deduction, loss, or credit to any investor. If USO is required to pay any U.S. federal income taxes on any imputed underpayment, the resulting tax liability would reduce the net assets of USO and would likely have an adverse impact on the value of the shares. Under certain circumstances, USO may be eligible to make an election to cause the investors to take into account the amount of any imputed underpayment, including any associated interest and penalties. The ability of a publicly traded partnership such as USO to elect this treatment is uncertain. If the election is made, USO would be required to provide investors who owned beneficial interests in the shares in the year to which the adjusted allocations relate with a statement setting forth their proportionate shares of the adjustment (“Adjusted K-1s”). The investors would be required to take the adjustment into account in the taxable year in which the Adjusted K-1s are issued.

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USO could be treated as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes, which may substantially reduce the value of the shares.

USO has received an opinion of counsel that, under current U.S. federal income tax laws, USO will be treated as a partnership that is not taxable as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes, provided that (i) at least 90 percent of USO’s annual gross income will be derived from (a) income and gains from commodities (not held as inventory) or futures, forwards, options, swaps and other notional principal contracts with respect to commodities, and (b) interest income; (ii) USO is organized and operated in accordance with its governing agreements and applicable law; and (iii) USO does not elect to be taxed as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Although USCF anticipates that USO has satisfied and will continue to satisfy the “qualifying income” requirement for all taxable years, that result cannot be assured. USO has not requested and will not request any ruling from the IRS with respect to its classification as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes. If the IRS were to successfully assert that USO is taxable as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes in any taxable year, rather than passing through its income, gains, losses, deductions, and credits proportionately to its shareholders, USO would be subject to U.S. federal income tax imposed at the corporate flat rate of 21% on its net income for the year. In addition, although USCF does not currently intend to make distributions with respect to shares, if USO were treated as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes, any distributions made with respect to USO shares would be taxable to shareholders as dividend income to the extent of USO’s current and accumulated earnings and profits. Taxation of USO as a corporation could materially reduce the after-tax return on an investment in shares and could substantially reduce the value of the shares.

USO is organized and operated as a limited partnership in accordance with the provisions of the LP Agreement and applicable state law, and therefore, USO has a more complex tax treatment than traditional mutual funds.

USO is organized and operated as a limited partnership in accordance with the provisions of the LP Agreement and applicable state law, and is treated as a partnership for U.S. federal income tax purposes. No U.S. federal income tax is paid by USO on its income. Instead, USO will furnish shareholders each year with tax information on IRS Schedules K-1 and/or K-3 (Form 1065) and each U.S. shareholder is required to report on its U.S. federal income tax return its allocable share of the income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit of USO.

These amounts must be reported without regard to the amount of cash or value of property the shareholder receives (if any) as a distribution from USO during the taxable year. A shareholder, therefore, may be allocated income or gain by USO but receive no cash distribution with which to pay the tax liability resulting from the allocation, or may receive a distribution that is insufficient to pay such liability.

In addition to U.S. federal income taxes, shareholders may be subject to other taxes, such as state and local income taxes, unincorporated business taxes, business franchise taxes and estate, inheritance or intangible taxes that may be imposed by the various jurisdictions in which USO does business or owns property or where the shareholders reside. Although an analysis of those various taxes is not presented here, each prospective shareholder should consider their potential impact on its investment in USO. It is each shareholder’s responsibility to file the appropriate U.S. federal, state, local and foreign tax returns.

If USO is required to withhold tax with respect to any non-U.S. shareholders, the cost of such withholding may be borne by all shareholders.

Under certain circumstances, USO may be required to pay withholding tax with respect to allocations to non-U.S. shareholders. Although the LP Agreement provides that any such withholding will be treated as being distributed to the non-U.S. shareholder, USO may not be able to cause the economic cost of such withholding to be borne by the non-U.S. shareholder on whose behalf such amounts were withheld since it does not generally expect to make any distributions. Under such circumstances, the economic cost of the withholding may be borne by all shareholders, not just the shareholders on whose behalf such amounts were withheld. This could have a material impact on the value of the shares.

The impact of changes in U.S. federal income tax laws on USO is uncertain.

In general, legislative or other actions relating to U.S. federal income taxes could have a negative effect on USO or its investors. The rules dealing with U.S. federal income taxation are constantly under review by persons involved in the legislative process and by the IRS and the U.S. Treasury Department. On August 16, 2022, President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (the “IRA”) into law. At this time, we cannot predict with certainty how the tax provisions of the IRA or any other proposed or future tax legislation might affect USO, its investors, or USO’s investments. Investors are urged to consult with their tax advisor with respect to the status of legislative, regulatory or administrative developments and proposals and their potential effect on an investment in our shares.

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OTC Contract Risk

USO will be subject to credit risk with respect to counterparties to OTC contracts entered into by USO or held by special purpose or structured vehicles.

USO faces the risk of non-performance by the counterparties to the OTC contracts. Unlike in futures contracts, the counterparty to these contracts is generally a single bank or other financial institution, rather than a clearing organization backed by a group of financial institutions. As a result, there will be greater counterparty credit risk in these transactions. A counterparty may not be able to meet its obligations to USO, in which case USO could suffer significant losses on these contracts. The two-way margining requirements imposed by U.S. regulators, discussed in “Item 1. Business – Commodities Regulation,” are intended to mitigate this risk.

If a counterparty becomes bankrupt or otherwise fails to perform its obligations due to financial difficulties, USO may experience significant delays in obtaining any recovery in a bankruptcy or other reorganization proceeding. USO may obtain only limited recovery or may obtain no recovery in such circumstances.

USO has mitigated these risks by typically entering into transactions only with major global financial institutions.

Valuing OTC derivatives may be less certain than actively traded financial instruments.

In general, valuing OTC derivatives is less certain than valuing actively traded financial instruments such as exchange traded futures contracts and securities or cleared swaps because, for OTC derivatives, the price and terms on which such OTC derivatives are entered into or can be terminated are individually negotiated, and those prices and terms may not reflect the best price or terms available from other sources. In addition, while market makers and dealers generally quote indicative prices or terms for entering into or terminating OTC contracts, they typically are not contractually obligated to do so, particularly if they are not a party to the transaction. As a result, it may be difficult to obtain an independent value for an outstanding OTC derivatives transaction.

USO’s rights under an OTC contract may be restricted by regulations.

Regulations adopted by global prudential regulators that are now in effect require certain prudentially regulated entities and certain of their affiliates and subsidiaries (including swap dealers) to include in their derivatives contracts and certain other financial contracts terms that delay or restrict the rights of counterparties (such as USO) to terminate such contracts, foreclose upon collateral, exercise other default rights or restrict transfers of credit support in the event that the prudentially regulated entity and/or its affiliates are subject to certain types of resolution or insolvency proceedings. Similar regulations and laws have been adopted in non-U.S. jurisdictions that may apply to USO’s counterparties located in those jurisdictions. It is possible that these new requirements, as well as potential additional resulted government regulation, could adversely affect USO’s ability to terminate existing derivatives contracts, exercise default rights, or satisfy obligations owed to it with collateral received under such contracts.

The use of swap agreements may expose USO to early termination risk, which could result in significant losses to USO.

Swap agreements do not have uniform terms. A swap counterparty may have the right to close out USO’s position due to the occurrence of certain events (for example, if a counterparty is unable to hedge its obligations to USO, or if USO defaults on certain terms of the swap agreement, or if there is a material decline in USO’s NAV on a particular day) and request immediate payment of amounts owed by USO under the agreement. If the level of USO’s NAV has a dramatic intraday move, the terms of the swap agreement may permit the counterparty to close out a transaction with USO at a price calculated by the counterparty that, in good faith, represents such counterparty’s loss, which may not represent fair market value. A swap counterparty may also have the right to close out USO’s position for no reason, in some cases with same day notice.

Other Risks

USO is not leveraged, but it could become leveraged if it had insufficient assets to completely meet its margin or collateral requirements relating to its investments.

Although permitted to do so under its LP Agreement, USO has not leveraged, and does not intend to leverage, its assets through borrowings or otherwise, and makes its investments accordingly. Consistent with the foregoing, USO’s investments will take into account the need for USO to maintain adequate liquidity to meet its margin and collateral requirements and to avoid, to the extent reasonably possible, USO becoming leveraged. If market conditions require it, USO may implement risk reduction procedures, which may include changes to USO’s investments, and such changes may occur on short notice.

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USO does not and will not borrow money or use debt to satisfy its margin or collateral obligations in respect of its investments, but it could become leveraged if USO were to hold insufficient assets that would allow it to meet not only the current, but also future, margin or collateral obligations required for such investments. Such a circumstance could occur if USO were to hold assets that have a value of less than zero.

USCF endeavors to have the value of USO’s Treasuries, cash and cash equivalents, whether held by USO or posted as margin or other collateral, at all times approximate the aggregate market value of its obligations under its Oil Futures Contracts and Other Oil-Related Investments.

USO may temporarily limit the offering of Creation Baskets.

USO may determine to limit the issuance of its shares through the offering of Creation Baskets to its Authorized Participants in order to allow it to reinvest the proceeds from sales of its Creation Baskets in currently permitted assets in a manner that meets its investment objective. USO will announce to the market through the filing of a Current Report on Form 8-K if it intends to limit the offering of Creation Baskets at any time. In such case, orders for Creation Baskets will be considered for acceptance in the order they are received by USO and USO would continue to accept requests for redemption of its shares from Authorized Participants through Redemption Baskets during the period of the limited offering of Creation Baskets.

Certain of USO’s investments could be illiquid, which could cause large losses to investors at any time or from time to time.

Futures positions cannot always be liquidated at the desired price. It is difficult to execute a trade at a specific price when there is a relatively small volume of buy and sell orders in a market. A market disruption, such as a war or a foreign government taking political actions that disrupt the market for its currency, its crude oil production or exports, or another major export, can also make it difficult to liquidate a position. Because both Oil Futures Contracts and Other Oil-Related Investments may be illiquid, USO’s Oil Interests may be more difficult to liquidate at favorable prices in periods of illiquid markets and losses may be incurred during the period in which positions are being liquidated. The large size of the positions that USO may acquire increases the risk of illiquidity both by making its positions more difficult to liquidate and by potentially increasing losses while trying to do so.

OTC contracts that are not subject to clearing may be even less marketable than futures contracts because they are not traded on an exchange, do not have uniform terms and conditions, and are entered into based upon the creditworthiness of the parties and the availability of credit support, such as collateral, and in general, they are not transferable without the consent of the counterparty. These conditions make such contracts less liquid than standardized futures contracts traded on a commodities exchange and could adversely impact USO’s ability to realize the full value of such contracts. In addition, even if collateral is used to reduce counterparty credit risk, sudden changes in the value of OTC transactions may leave a party open to financial risk due to a counterparty default since the collateral held may not cover a party’s exposure on the transaction in such situations.

USO is not actively managed and its investment objective is to track the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract so that the average daily percentage change in USO’s NAV for any period of 30 successive valuation days will be within plus/minus ten percent (10%) of the average daily percentage change in the price of the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract over the same period.

USO is not actively managed by conventional methods. Accordingly, if USO’s investments in Oil Interests are declining in value, in the ordinary course, USO will not close out such positions except in connection with paying the proceeds to an Authorized Participant upon the redemption of a basket or closing out its positions in Oil Futures Contracts and other permitted investments (i) in connection with the monthly change in the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract; (ii) when USO otherwise determines it would be appropriate to do so, e.g., due to regulatory requirements or risk mitigation measures (including those that may be taken by USO, USO’s FCMs, counterparties or other market participants); or (iii) to avoid USO becoming leveraged, and it reinvests the proceeds in new Oil Futures Contracts or Other Oil-Related Investments to the extent possible. USCF will seek to cause the NAV of USO’s shares to track the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract during periods in which its price is flat or declining as well as when the price is rising.

USO has always had the ability to invest in Oil Futures Contracts beyond the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract and in Other Oil-Related Investments, and following the events that occurred in the Spring of 2020, USO has invested accordingly in Oil Futures Contracts other than the Benchmark Oil Future Contract and in OTC swaps. Beginning with the monthly roll in September 2023 and ending with the monthly roll in January 2024, USO’s intention is to begin transitioning its investment portfolio so that it will primarily invest in Benchmark Oil Futures Contracts, consistent with USO’s investment strategy prior to the Spring of 2020. However, USO has had, and will continue to have, the ability to invest in Oil Futures Contracts beyond the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract and Other Oil-Related Investments, such as OTC swaps, and USO may make such investments if market conditions, regulatory requirements, risk mitigation measures (including those that may be taken by USO, USO’s FCMs, counterparties or other market participants), liquidity requirements,

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or other factors require USO to do so in order to meet its investment objective. USO may invest in Oil Futures Contracts beyond the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract, and/or Other Oil-Related Investments, as a result or in response to any of the foregoing factors. In addition, USO may need to hold significant portions of its portfolio in cash beyond what it has historically held for reasons including (but not limited to) the need to address the changes in market conditions, regulatory requirements or risk mitigation measures, or the need to satisfy potential margin requirements.

USO’s ability to invest in the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract or other permitted investments could be limited as a result of any or all of the following: evolving market conditions, a change in regulatory accountability levels and position limits imposed on USO with respect to its investment in Oil Futures Contracts, additional or different risk mitigation measures (including those that may be taken by USO, USO’s FCMs, counterparties or other market participants) with respect to USO acquiring additional Oil Futures Contracts, or USO selling additional shares. Accordingly, to address and comply with the market conditions, regulatory requirements and other factors that have influenced, and will continue to influence, its investment decisions, USO intends to buy or sell its permitted investments when USO increases or decreases either its portfolio overall or its holdings of particular investments.

USO may not meet the listing standards of NYSE Arca, which could adversely impact an investor’s ability to sell shares.

USO’s shares are listed for trading on the NYSE Arca under the market symbol “USO.” NYSE Arca may suspend USO’s shares from trading on the exchange with or without prior notice to USO, upon failure of USO to comply with the NYSE’s listing requirements, or when in its sole discretion, the NYSE Arca determines that such suspension of dealings is in the public interest or otherwise warranted. There can be no assurance that the requirements necessary to maintain the listing of USO’s shares will continue to be met or will remain unchanged. If USO were unable to meet the NYSE’s listing standards and were to become delisted, an investor’s ability to sell its shares would be adversely impacted.

The NYSE Arca may halt trading in USO’s shares, which would adversely impact an investor’s ability to sell shares.

Trading in shares may be halted due to market conditions or, in light of NYSE Arca rules and procedures, for reasons that, in the view of the NYSE Arca, make trading in shares inadvisable. In addition, trading is subject to trading halts caused by extraordinary market volatility pursuant to “circuit breaker” rules that require trading to be halted for a specified period based on a specified market decline.

The liquidity of USO’s shares may also be affected by the withdrawal from participation of Authorized Participants, which could adversely affect the market price of the shares.

In the event that one or more Authorized Participants which have substantial interests in the shares withdraw from participation, the liquidity of the shares will likely decrease, which could adversely affect the market price of the shares and result in investors incurring a loss on their investment.

Shareholders that are not Authorized Participants may only purchase or sell their shares in secondary trading markets, and the conditions associated with trading in secondary markets may adversely affect investors’ investment in the shares.

Only Authorized Participants may directly purchase shares from or redeem shares with, USO through Creation Baskets or Redemption Baskets, respectively. All other investors that desire to purchase or sell shares must do so through the NYSE Arca or in other markets, if any, in which the shares may be traded. Shares may trade at a premium or discount relative to NAV per share.

The lack of an active trading market for USO’s shares may result in losses on an investor’s investment in USO at the time the investor sells the shares.

Although USO’s shares are listed and traded on the NYSE Arca, there can be no guarantee that an active trading market for the shares will be maintained. If an investor needs to sell shares at a time when no active trading market for them exists, the price the investor receives upon sale of the shares, assuming they were able to be sold, likely would be lower than if an active market existed.

Limited partners and shareholders do not participate in the management of USO and do not control USCF, so they do not have any influence over basic matters that affect USO.

The limited partners and shareholders take no part in the management or control, and have a minimal voice in USO’s operations or business. Limited partners and shareholders must therefore rely upon the duties and judgment of USCF to manage USO’s affairs. Limited partners and shareholders have no right to elect USCF on an annual or any other continuing basis. If USCF voluntarily withdraws, however, the holders of a majority of USO’s outstanding shares (excluding for purposes of such determination shares owned, if any, by

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the withdrawing general partner and its affiliates) may elect its successor. USCF may not be removed as general partner except upon approval by the affirmative vote of the holders of at least 66 2/3 percent of USO’s outstanding shares (excluding shares, if any, owned by USCF and its affiliates), subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions set forth in the LP Agreement.

Limited partners may have limited liability in certain circumstances, including potentially having liability for the return of wrongful distributions.

Under Delaware law, a limited partner might be held liable for USO’s obligations as if it were a general partner if the limited partner participates in the control of the partnership’s business and the persons who transact business with the partnership think the limited partner is the general partner.

A limited partner will not be liable for assessments in addition to its initial capital investment in any of USO’s shares. However, a limited partner may be required to repay to USO any amounts wrongfully returned or distributed to it under some circumstances. Under Delaware law, USO may not make a distribution to limited partners if the distribution causes USO’s liabilities (other than liabilities to partners on account of their partnership interests and nonrecourse liabilities) to exceed the fair value of USO’s assets. Delaware law provides that a limited partner who receives such a distribution and knew at the time of the distribution that the distribution violated the law will be liable to the limited partnership for the amount of the distribution for three years from the date of the distribution.

USCF’s LLC Agreement provides limited authority to the Non-Management Directors, and any Director of USCF may be removed by USCF’s parent company, which is wholly owned by The Marygold Companies, Inc., a controlled public company where the majority of shares are owned by Nicholas D. Gerber along with certain of his other family members and certain other shareholders.

USCF’s Board of Directors currently consists of four Management Directors, who are also executive officers or employees of USCF, and three Non-Management Directors, who are considered independent for purposes of applicable NYSE Arca and SEC rules. Under USCF’s LLC Agreement, the Non-Management Directors have only such authority as the Management Directors expressly confer upon them, which means that the Non-Management Directors may have less authority to control the actions of the Management Directors than is typically the case with the independent members of a company’s Board of Directors. In addition, any Director may be removed by written consent of USCF Investments, Inc. (“USCF Investments”), formerly Wainwright Holdings, Inc., which is the sole member of USCF. The sole shareholder of USCF Investments is The Marygold Companies, Inc., formerly Concierge Technologies, Inc. (“Marygold”), a company publicly traded under the ticker symbol “MGLD.” Mr. Nicholas D. Gerber, along with certain of his family members and certain other shareholders, owns the majority of the shares in Marygold, which is the sole shareholder of USCF Investments, the sole member of USCF. Accordingly, although USCF is governed by the USCF Board of Directors, which consists of both Management Directors and Non-Management Directors, pursuant to the LLC Agreement, it is possible for Mr. Gerber to exercise his indirect control of USCF Investments to effect the removal of any Director (including the Non-Management Directors which comprise the Audit Committee) and to replace that Director with another Director. Having control in one person could have a negative impact on USCF and USO, including their regulatory obligations.

There is a risk that USO will not earn trading gains sufficient to compensate for the fees and expenses that it must pay and as such USO may not earn any profit.

USO pays brokerage charges of approximately 0.10% of average total net assets based on brokerage fees of $3.50 per buy or sell, management fees of 0.45% of NAV on its average net assets, and OTC spreads and extraordinary expenses (e.g., subsequent offering expenses, other expenses not in the ordinary course of business, including the indemnification of any person against liabilities and obligations to the extent permitted by law and required under the LP Agreement and under agreements entered into by USCF on USO’s behalf and the bringing and defending of actions at law or in equity and otherwise engaging in the conduct of litigation and the incurring of legal expenses and the settlement of claims and litigation) that cannot be quantified.

These fees and expenses must be paid in all cases regardless of whether USO’s activities are profitable. Accordingly, USO must earn trading gains sufficient to compensate for these fees and expenses before it can earn any profit.

USO is subject to extensive regulatory reporting and compliance.

USO is subject to a comprehensive scheme of regulation under the federal commodities and securities laws. USO could be subject to sanctions for a failure to comply with those requirements, which could adversely affect its financial performance (in the case of financial penalties) or ability to pursue its investment objective (in the case of a limitation on its ability to trade).

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Because USO’s shares are publicly traded, USO is subject to certain rules and regulations of federal, state and financial market exchange entities charged with the protection of investors and the oversight of companies whose securities are publicly traded. These entities include the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (the “PCAOB”), the SEC, the CFTC, the NFA, and NYSE Arca and these authorities have continued to develop additional regulations or interpretations of existing regulations. USO’s ongoing efforts to comply with these regulations and interpretations have resulted in, and are likely to continue resulting in, a diversion of management’s time and attention from revenue-generating activities to compliance related activities.

USO is responsible for establishing and maintaining adequate internal control over financial reporting. USO’s internal control system is designed to provide reasonable assurance to its management regarding the preparation and fair presentation of published financial statements. All internal control systems, no matter how well designed, have inherent limitations. Therefore, even those systems determined to be effective may provide only reasonable assurance with respect to financial statement preparation and presentation.

Regulatory changes or actions, including the implementation of new legislation is impossible to predict but may significantly and adversely affect USO.

The futures markets are subject to comprehensive statutes, regulations, and margin requirements. In addition, the CFTC and futures exchanges are authorized to take extraordinary actions in the event of a market emergency, including, for example, the retroactive implementation of speculative position limits or higher margin requirements, the establishment of daily price limits and the suspension of trading. Regulation of commodity interest transactions in the United States is a rapidly changing area of law and is subject to ongoing modification by governmental and judicial action. Considerable regulatory attention has been focused on non-traditional investment pools that are publicly distributed in the United States. In addition, the SEC, CFTC and the exchanges are authorized to take extraordinary actions in the event of a market emergency, including, for example, the retroactive implementation of speculative position limits or higher margin requirements, the establishment of daily price limits and the suspension of trading. Further, various national governments outside of the United States have expressed concern regarding the disruptive effects of speculative trading in the commodities markets and the need to regulate the derivatives markets in general. The effect of any future regulatory change on USO is impossible to predict, but it could be substantial and adverse. For a more detailed discussion of the regulations to be imposed by the CFTC and the SEC and the potential impacts thereof on USO, please see “Item 1. Business – Commodities Regulation” in this annual report on Form 10-K.

USO is not a registered investment company so shareholders do not have the protections of the 1940 Act.

USO is not an investment company subject to the 1940 Act. Accordingly, investors do not have the protections afforded by that statute, which, for example, requires investment companies to have a majority of disinterested directors and regulates the relationship between the investment company and its investment manager.

Trading in international markets could expose USO to credit and regulatory risk.

USO invests primarily in Oil Futures Contracts, a significant portion of which are traded on United States exchanges, including the NYMEX. However, a portion of USO’s trades may take place on markets and exchanges outside the United States. Trading on such non-U.S. markets or exchanges presents risks because they are not subject to the same degree of regulation as their U.S. counterparts, including potentially different or diminished investor protections. In trading contracts denominated in currencies other than U.S. dollars, USO is subject to the risk of adverse exchange-rate movements between the dollar and the functional currencies of such contracts. Additionally, trading on non-U.S. exchanges is subject to the risks presented by exchange controls, expropriation, increased tax burdens and exposure to local economic declines and political instability. An adverse development with respect to any of these variables could reduce the profit or increase the loss earned on trades in the affected international markets.

USO and USCF may have conflicts of interest, which may permit them to favor their own interests to the detriment of shareholders.

USO is subject to actual and potential inherent conflicts involving USCF, various commodity futures brokers and Authorized Participants. USCF’s officers, directors and employees do not devote their time exclusively to USO and also are directors, officers or employees of other entities that may compete with USO for their services. They could have a conflict between their responsibilities to USO and to those other entities. As a result of these and other relationships, parties involved with USO have a financial incentive to act in a manner other than in the best interests of USO and the shareholders. USCF has not established any formal procedure to resolve conflicts of interest. Consequently, investors are dependent on the good faith of the respective parties subject to such conflicts of interest to resolve them equitably. Although USCF attempts to monitor these conflicts, it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, for USCF to ensure that these conflicts do not, in fact, result in adverse consequences to the shareholders.

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USCF serves as the general partner or sponsor to each of USO and the Related Public Funds. USCF may have a conflict to the extent that its trading decisions for USO may be influenced by the effect they would have on the other funds it manages. By way of example, if, as a result of reaching position limits imposed by the NYMEX, USO purchased oil futures contracts, this decision could impact USO’s ability to purchase additional oil futures contracts if the number of contracts held by funds managed by USCF reached the maximum allowed by the NYMEX. Similar situations could adversely affect the ability of the Related Public Funds to track their benchmark futures contract(s).

USO may also be subject to certain conflicts with respect to its FCMs, including, but not limited to, conflicts that result from the FCM receiving greater amounts of compensation from other clients, or purchasing opposite or competing positions on behalf of third-party accounts traded through the FCMs. In addition, USCF’s principals, officers, directors or employees may trade futures and related contracts for their own account. A conflict of interest may exist if their trades are in the same markets and at the same time as USO trades using the clearing broker to be used by USO. A potential conflict also may occur if USCF’s principals, officers, directors or employees trade their accounts more aggressively or take positions in their accounts which are opposite, or ahead of, the positions taken by USO.

USO could terminate at any time and cause the liquidation and potential loss of an investor’s investment and could upset the overall maturity and timing of an investor’s investment portfolio.

USO may terminate at any time, regardless of whether USO has incurred losses, subject to the terms of the LP Agreement. In particular, unforeseen circumstances, including, but not limited to, (i) market conditions, regulatory requirements, risk mitigation measures (including those that may be taken by USO, USO’s FCMs, counterparties or other market participants) that would lead USO to determine that it could no longer foreseeably meet its investment objective or that USO’s aggregate net assets in relation to its operating expenses or its margin or collateral requirements make the continued operation of USO unreasonable or imprudent, or (ii) adjudication of incompetence, bankruptcy, dissolution, withdrawal, or removal of USCF as the general partner of USO could cause USO, to terminate unless a majority interest of the limited partners within 90 days of the event elects to continue the partnership and appoints a successor general partner, or the affirmative vote of a majority in interest of the limited partners subject to certain conditions. However, no level of losses will require USCF to terminate USO. USO’s termination would cause the liquidation and potential loss of an investor’s investment. Termination could also negatively affect the overall maturity and timing of an investor’s investment portfolio.

USO does not expect to make cash distributions.

USO has not previously made any cash distributions and intends to reinvest any realized gains in additional Oil Interests rather than distributing cash to limited partners, or other shareholders. Therefore, unlike mutual funds, commodity pools or other investment pools that actively manage their investments in an attempt to realize income and gains from their investing activities and distribute such income and gains to their investors, USO generally does not expect to distribute cash to limited partners. An investor should not invest in USO if the investor will need cash distributions from USO to pay taxes on its share of income and gains of USO, if any, or for any other reason. Nonetheless, although USO does not intend to make cash distributions, the income earned from its investments held directly or posted as margin may reach levels that merit distribution, e.g., at levels where such income is not necessary to support its underlying investments in Oil Interests and investors adversely react to being taxed on such income without receiving distributions that could be used to pay such tax. If this income becomes significant then cash distributions may be made.

An unanticipated number of Redemption Basket requests during a short period of time could have an adverse effect on USO’s NAV.

If a substantial number of requests for redemption of Redemption Baskets are received by USO during a relatively short period of time, USO may not be able to satisfy the requests from USO’s assets not committed to trading. As a consequence, it could be necessary to liquidate positions in USO’s trading positions before the time that the trading strategies would otherwise dictate liquidation.

The suspension in the ability of Authorized Participants to purchase Creation Baskets could cause USO’s NAV to differ materially from its trading price.

In the event that there was a suspension in the ability of Authorized Participants to purchase additional Creation Baskets, Authorized Participants and other groups that make a market in shares of USO would likely still continue to actively trade the shares. However, in such a situation, Authorized Participants and other market makers may seek to adjust the market they make in the shares. Specifically, such market participants may increase the spread between the prices that they quote for offers to buy and sell shares to allow them to adjust to the potential uncertainty as to when they might be able to purchase additional Creation Baskets of shares. In addition, Authorized Participants may be less willing to offer to quote offers to buy or sell shares in large numbers. The potential impact of either wider spreads between bid and offer prices, or reduced number of shares on which quotes may be available, could increase the trading

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costs to investors in USO compared to the quotes and the number of shares on which bids and offers are made if the Authorized Participants still were able to freely create new baskets of shares. In addition, there could be a significant variation between the market price at which shares are traded and the shares’ NAV, which is also the price shares can be redeemed with USO by Authorized Participants in Redemption Baskets. The foregoing could also create significant deviations from USO’s investment objective. Any potential impact to the market for shares of USO that could occur from the Authorized Participant’s inability to create new baskets would likely not extend beyond the time when USO resumes selling Creation Baskets.

For example, USO suspended purchases of Creation Baskets in April 2020 as a result of the exhaustion of available SEC registered shares that could be issued by USO due to unexpected demand during the aforementioned market volatility arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, related supply chain disruptions, war and disputes among oil-producing countries. At the time of this suspension, the market price of USO shares on April 21, 2020 was 36% higher than USO’s reported end-of-day per share NAV. A significant portion of this difference can be attributed to the fact that USO’s NAV is calculated based on the settlement price of Oil Futures Contracts at 2:30 p.m. Eastern time, which is ninety (90) minutes earlier than the determination of the closing share price at 4:00 p.m. Eastern time. The closing share price takes into account changes in the price of Oil Futures Contracts that occur after the settlement price is determined. However, USO’s suspension of purchases of Creation Baskets, record volatility that occurred in crude futures markets on April 20, 2020 and April 21, 2020, and record volume in USO share transactions on the NYSE on the same days also contributed to the premium on April, 21, 2020. In addition, investors should be aware that such premiums can be transitory. The high premium that occurred in the Spring of 2020 was short-lived and fell almost immediately, notwithstanding the suspension of sales of Creation Baskets. On April 22, 2020, the market price of USO shares fell to a level of 8.66% above the per share NAV, and, from April 23, 2020, continued its decline to 1.45% on May 1, 2020. For the period beginning May 1, 2020 and ending May 29, 2020 the premium averaged 2.25%, and for the period from beginning June 30, 2020 through December 31, 2020, the premium averaged -0.14%. Any potential premium or impact to the market in shares of USO that could occur from the Authorized Participants’ inability to purchase new Creation Baskets would likely not extend beyond the time when USO resumes selling Creation Baskets.

USO may determine that, to allow it to reinvest the proceeds from sales of its Creation Baskets in currently permitted assets in a manner that meets its investment objective, it may limit its offers of Creation Baskets.

USO may determine to limit the issuance of its shares through the offering of Creation Baskets to its Authorized Participants. As a result of certain circumstances described herein, including (1) the need to comply with regulatory requirements (including, but not limited to, exchange accountability levels and position limits as well as statutory or regulatory limits); (2) market conditions (including but not limited to those allowing USO to obtain greater liquidity or to execute transactions with more favorable pricing); and (3) risk mitigation measures (including those that may be taken by USO, USO’s FCMs, counterparties or other market participants) that limit USO and other market participants from investing in particular crude oil futures contracts, USO’s management can determine that it will limit the issuance of shares and the offerings of Creation Baskets because it is unable to invest the proceeds from such offerings in investments that would permit it to reasonably meet its investment objective.

If such a determination is made, the same consequences associated with a suspension of the offering of Creation Baskets, as described in the foregoing risk factor, “The suspension in the ability of Authorized Participants to purchase Creation Baskets could cause USO’s NAV to differ materially from its trading price,” could also occur as a result of USO determining to limit the offering of creation baskets.

In a rising rate environment, USO may not be able to fully invest at prevailing rates until any current investments in Treasury Bills mature in order to avoid selling those investments at a loss.

When interest rates rise, the value of fixed income securities typically falls. In a rising interest rate environment, USO may not be able to fully invest at prevailing rates until any current investments in Treasury Bills mature in order to avoid selling those investments at a loss. Interest rate risk is generally lower for shorter term investments and higher for longer term investments. The risk to USO of rising interest rates may be greater in the future due to the end of a long period of historically low rates, the effect of potential monetary policy initiatives, including actions taken by the U.S. Federal Reserve and other foreign equivalents to curb inflation, and resulting market reactions to those initiatives. When interest rates fall, USO may be required to reinvest the proceeds from the sale, redemption or early prepayment of a Treasury Bill or money market security at a lower interest rate.

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USO may potentially lose money by investing in government money market funds.

USO invests in government money market funds. Although such government money market funds seek to preserve the value of an investment at $1.00 per share, there is no guarantee that they will be able to do so and USO may lose money by investing in a government money market fund. An investment in a government money market fund is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (the “FDIC”), or any other government agency. The share price of a government money market fund can fall below the $1.00 share price. USO cannot rely on or expect a government money market fund’s adviser or its affiliates to enter into support agreements or take other actions to maintain the government money market fund’s $1.00 share price. The credit quality of a government money market fund’s holdings can change rapidly in certain markets, and the default of a single holding could have an adverse impact on the government money market fund’s share price. Due to fluctuations in interest rates, the market value of securities held by a government money market fund may vary. A government money market fund’s share price can also be negatively affected during periods of high redemption pressures and/or illiquid markets.

The failure or bankruptcy of a clearing broker could result in a substantial loss of USO’s assets and could impair USO in its ability to execute trades.

The CEA and CFTC regulations impose several requirements on FCMs and clearing houses that are designed to protect customers, including mandating the implementation of risk management programs, internal monitoring and controls, capital and liquidity standards, customer disclosures, and auditing and examination programs. In particular, the CEA and CFTC regulations require FCMs and clearing houses to segregate all funds received from customers from proprietary assets. There can be no assurance that the requirements imposed by the CEA and CFTC regulations will prevent losses to, or not materially adversely affect, USO or its investors.

In particular, in the event of an FCM’s or clearing house’s bankruptcy, USO could be limited to recovering either a pro rata share of all available funds segregated on behalf of the FCM’s combined customer accounts or USO may not recover any assets at all. USO may also incur a loss of any unrealized profits on its open and closed positions. This is because if such a bankruptcy were to occur, USO would be afforded the protections granted to customers of an FCM, and participants to transactions cleared through a clearing house, under the United States Bankruptcy Code and applicable CFTC regulations. Such provisions generally provide for a pro rata distribution to customers of customer property held by the bankrupt FCM or an Exchange’s clearing house if the customer property held by the FCM or the Exchange’s clearing house is insufficient to satisfy all customer claims.

Bankruptcy of a clearing FCM can be caused by, among other things, the default of one of the FCM’s customers. In this event, the Exchange’s clearing house is permitted to use the entire amount of margin posted by USO (as well as margin posted by other customers of the FCM) to cover the amounts owed by the bankrupt FCM. Consequently, USO could be unable to recover amounts due to it on its futures positions, including assets posted as margin, and could sustain substantial losses.

Notwithstanding that USO could sustain losses upon the failure or bankruptcy of its FCM, the majority of USO’s assets are held in Treasuries, cash and/or cash equivalents with USO’s Custodian and would not be impacted by the bankruptcy of an FCM.

The failure or bankruptcy of USO’s Custodian could result in a substantial loss of USO’s assets.

The majority of USO’s assets are held in Treasuries, cash and/or cash equivalents with the Custodian. The insolvency of the Custodian could result in a complete loss of USO’s assets held by that Custodian, which, at any given time, would likely comprise a substantial portion of USO’s total assets.

Due to the increased use of technologies, intentional and unintentional cyber-attacks pose operational and information security risks.

With the increased use of technologies such as the internet and the dependence on computer systems to perform necessary business functions, USO is susceptible to operational and information security risks. In general, cyber incidents can result from deliberate attacks or unintentional events such as a cyber-attack against USO, a natural catastrophe, an industrial accident, failure of USO’s disaster recovery systems, or consequential employee error. Cyber-attacks include, but are not limited to, gaining unauthorized access to digital systems for purposes of misappropriating assets or sensitive information, corrupting data, or causing operational disruption. Cyberattacks may also be carried out in a manner that does not require gaining unauthorized access, such as causing denial-of-service attacks on websites. Cyber security failures or breaches of USO’s clearing broker or third party service provider (including, but not limited to, index providers, the administrator and transfer agent, the custodian), have the ability to cause disruptions and impact business operations, potentially resulting in financial losses, the inability of USO shareholders to transact business, violations of applicable privacy and other laws, regulatory fines, penalties, reputational damage, reimbursement or other compensation costs, and/or additional compliance costs.

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Adverse effects can become particularly acute if those events affect USO’s electronic data processing, transmission, storage, and retrieval systems, or impact the availability, integrity, or confidentiality of our data.

In addition, a service provider that has experienced a cyber-security incident may divert resources normally devoted to servicing USO to addressing the incident, which would be likely to have an adverse effect on USO’s operations. Cyber-attacks may also cause disruptions to the futures exchanges and clearinghouses through which USO invests in futures contracts, which could result in disruptions to USO’s ability to pursue its investment objective, resulting in financial losses to USO and its shareholders.

In addition, substantial costs may be incurred in order to prevent any cyber incidents in the future. USO and its shareholders could be negatively impacted as a result. While USCF and the Related Public Funds, including USO, have established business continuity plans, there are inherent limitations in such plans, including the possibility that certain risks have not been identified or that new risks will emerge before countervailing measures can be implemented. Furthermore, USO cannot control cybersecurity plans and systems of its service providers, market makers or Authorized Participants.

USO’s investment returns could be negatively affected by climate change and greenhouse gas restrictions.

Driven by concern over the risks of climate change, a number of countries have adopted, or are considering the adoption of, regulatory frameworks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or production and use of oil and gas. These include adoption of cap and trade regimes, carbon taxes, trade tariffs, minimum renewable usage requirements, restrictive permitting, increased efficiency standards, and incentives or mandates for renewable energy. Political and other actors and their agents increasingly seek to advance climate change objectives indirectly, such as by seeking to reduce the availability of or increase the cost for, financial and investment in the oil and gas sector and taking actions intended to promote changes in business strategy for oil and gas companies. Many governments are also providing tax advantages and other subsidies to support transitioning to alternative energy sources or mandating the use of specific fuels other than oil or natural gas. Depending on how policies are formulated and applied, they could have the potential to negatively affect USO’s investment returns and make oil and natural gas products more expensive or less competitive.

USO and USCF are subjects of class action, derivative and other litigation. In light of the inherent uncertainties involved in litigation matters, an adverse outcome in this litigation could materially adversely affect USO’s and USCF’s financial condition.

USO, USCF and USCF’s directors and certain of its officers are currently subject to litigation. Estimating an amount or range of possible losses resulting from litigation proceedings to USO and USCF is inherently difficult and requires an extensive degree of judgment, particularly where the matters involve indeterminate claims for monetary damages and are subject to appeal. In addition, because most legal proceedings are resolved over extended periods of time, potential losses are subject to change due to, among other things, new developments, changes in legal strategy, the outcome of intermediate procedural and substantive rulings and other parties’ settlement posture and their evaluation of the strength or weakness of their case against USO and USCF. For these reasons, we are currently unable to predict the ultimate timing or outcome of, or reasonably estimate the possible losses or a range of possible losses resulting therefrom. In light of the inherent uncertainties involved in such matters, an adverse outcome in this litigation could materially adversely affect USO’s or USCF’s financial condition, results of operations or cash flows in any particular reporting period. In addition, litigation could result in substantial costs and divert USCF’s management’s attention and resources from conducting USCF’s operations, including the management of USO and the Related Public Funds. For more information, see “Item 3. Legal Proceedings” in this annual report on Form 10-K.

Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments.

Not applicable.

Item 1C. Cybersecurity.

In general, cybersecurity incidents can result from deliberate attacks or unintentional events such as a cyber-attack against USCF, a natural catastrophe, an industrial accident, failure of USO’s disaster recovery systems, or consequential employee error. Cyber-attacks include, but are not limited to, gaining unauthorized access to digital systems for purposes of misappropriating assets or sensitive information, corrupting data, or causing operational disruption. Cyber-attacks may also be carried out in a manner that does not require gaining unauthorized access, such as causing denial-of-service attacks on websites. Cyber security failures or breaches of a fund’s clearing broker or third party service provider (including, but not limited to, index providers, the administrator and transfer agent, the custodian), have the ability to cause disruptions and impact business operations, potentially resulting in financial losses, the inability of fund shareholders to transact business, violations of applicable privacy and other laws, regulatory fines, penalties, reputational damage, reimbursement or other compensation costs, and/or additional compliance costs.

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Risk Management

USO does not have computer systems or networks. Pursuant to the terms of the LP Agreement, USO’s affairs are managed by USCF. USCF has implemented an information security program that is focused on ensuring the security and protection of computer systems and oversight of third-party service providers. This program includes specific provisions pertaining to data security and the security of information that, if disclosed, could have detrimental effects on USO. Such provisions relate to the handling of information and computers, as well as the protection of computer systems and software from unauthorized persons. As needed, but no less frequently than annually, USCF evaluates its cybersecurity risk profile in accordance with its compliance policies and procedures. The risk assessment aims to confirm that USCF’s policies are being followed and enforced, and to identify risks that may have otherwise been unknown. To mitigate the risks from cybersecurity threats posed by third parties, USCF conducts due diligence on its critical third-party service providers with respect to (1) the cybersecurity programs and policies that they have in place as well as how they safeguard sensitive information, and (2) how those programs and policies apply to customers, including USCF and USO.

USCF’s procedures include guidance for determining the materiality of cybersecurity incidents, including with respect to cybersecurity incidents experienced by third-party service providers. Such determinations are made by USCF’s senior management, including its Chief Executive Officer, which uses both qualitative and quantitative factors in assessing the material impact of an incident. The factors include the functional impact, the information impact, costs, the observed activity, the location of observed activity, actor characterization, and recoverability of information. As of the date of this report, USCF is not aware of any material risks from cybersecurity threats that have materially affected or are reasonably likely to materially affect USO, including its business strategy, results of operations, or financial condition.

Governance

The Director of Compliance, as identified below, provides regular reports to USCF’s Board of Directors on developments to the information security and cybersecurity risks facing USO. Reports may include, among other things, an overview of the controls and procedures related to to assessing, identifying, and managing risks related to cybersecurity threats, oversight of third-party service providers and related cybersecurity threats, and management’s evaluation of cybersecurity risks material to USO.

Item 2. Properties.

Not applicable.

Item 3. Legal Proceedings.

From time to time, USO may be involved in legal proceedings arising primarily from the ordinary course of its business. In addition, USCF, as the general partner of USO and the Related Public Funds may, from time to time, be involved in litigation arising out of its operations in the ordinary course of business. Except as described herein, neither USO nor USCF is currently party to any material legal proceedings.

Optimum Strategies Action

On April 6, 2022, USO and USCF were named as defendants in an action filed by Optimum Strategies Fund I, LP, a purported investor in call option contracts on USO (the “Optimum Strategies Action”). The action was in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut at Civil Action No. 3:22-cv-00511.

The Optimum Strategies Action asserted claims under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “1934 Act”), Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and the Connecticut Uniform Securities Act (“CUSA”). It purported to challenge statements in registration statements that became effective in February 2020, March 2020, and on April 20, 2020, as well as public statements between February 2020 and May 2020, in connection with certain extraordinary market conditions and the attendant risks that caused the demand for oil to fall precipitously, including the COVID-19 global pandemic and the Saudi Arabia-Russia oil price war. The complaint was seeking damages, interest, costs, attorney’s fees, and equitable relief.

On March 15, 2023, the court granted the USO defendants’ motion to dismiss the complaint. In its ruling, the court granted the USO defendants’ motion to dismiss, with prejudice, the plaintiff’s claims under Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and a claim for control person liability under Section 20(a) of the Exchange Act. Having dismissed all claims over which the court had original jurisdiction, the court declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the plaintiff’s state law claim under CUSA and dismissed the claim without prejudice. No notice of appeal was filed.

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Settlement of SEC and CFTC Investigations

On November 8, 2021, USCF and USO announced a resolution with each of the SEC and the CFTC relating to matters set forth in certain Wells Notices issued by the staffs of each of the SEC and CFTC as more fully described below.

On August 17, 2020, USCF, USO, and John Love received a “Wells Notice” from the staff of the SEC (the “SEC Wells Notice”). The SEC Wells Notice stated that the SEC staff made a preliminary determination to recommend that the SEC file an enforcement action against USCF, USO, and Mr. Love alleging violations of Sections 17(a)(1) and 17(a)(3) of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “1933 Act”), and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “1934 Act”), and Rule 10b-5 thereunder.

Subsequently, on August 19, 2020, USCF, USO, and Mr. Love received a Wells Notice from the staff of the CFTC (the “CFTC Wells Notice”). The CFTC Wells Notice stated that the CFTC staff made a preliminary determination to recommend that the CFTC file an enforcement action against USCF, USO, and Mr. Love alleging violations of Sections 4o(1)(A) and (B) and 6(c)(1) of the Commodity Exchange Act of 1936, as amended (the “CEA”), 7 U.S.C. §§ 6o(1)(A) and (B) and 9(1) (2018), and CFTC Regulations 4.26, 4.41, and 180.1(a), 17 C.F.R. §§ 4.26, 4.41, 180.1(a) (2019).

On November 8, 2021, acting pursuant to an offer of settlement submitted by USCF and USO, the SEC issued an order instituting cease-and-desist proceedings, making findings, and imposing a cease-and-desist order pursuant to Section 8A of the 1933 Act, directing USCF and USO to cease and desist from committing or causing any violations of Section 17(a)(3) of the 1933 Act, 15 U.S.C. § 77q(a)(3) (the “SEC Order”). In the SEC Order, the SEC made findings that, from April 24, 2020 to May 21, 2020, USCF and USO violated Section 17(a)(3) of 1933 Act, which provides that it is “unlawful for any person in the offer or sale of any securities to engage in any transaction, practice, or course of business which operates or would operate as a fraud or deceit upon the purchaser.” USCF and USO consented to entry of the SEC Order without admitting or denying the findings contained therein, except as to jurisdiction.

Separately, on November 8, 2021, acting pursuant to an offer of settlement submitted by USCF, the CFTC issued an order instituting cease-and-desist proceedings, making findings, and imposing a cease-and-desist order pursuant to Section 6(c) and (d) of the CEA, directing USCF to cease and desist from committing or causing any violations of Section 4o(1)(B) of the CEA, 7 U.S.C. § 6o(1) (B), and CFTC Regulation 4.41(a)(2), 17 C.F.R. § 4.41(a)(2) (the “CFTC Order”). In the CFTC Order, the CFTC made findings that, from on or about April 22, 2020 to June 12, 2020, USCF violated Section 4o(1)(B) of the CEA and CFTC Regulation 4.41(a)(2), which make it unlawful for any commodity pool operator (“CPO”) to engage in “any transaction, practice, or course of business which operates as a fraud or deceit upon any client or participant or prospective client or participant” and prohibit a CPO from advertising in a manner which “operates as a fraud or deceit upon any client or participant or prospective client or participant,” respectively. USCF consented to entry of the CFTC Order without admitting or denying the findings contained therein, except as to jurisdiction.

Pursuant to the SEC Order and the CFTC Order, in addition to the command to cease and desist from committing or causing any violations of Section 17(a)(3) of the 1933 Act, Section 4o(1)(B) of the CEA, and CFTC Regulation 4.14(a)(2), civil monetary penalties totaling two million five hundred thousand dollars ($2,500,000) in the aggregate were required to be paid to the SEC and CFTC, of which one million two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($1,250,000) was paid by USCF to each of the SEC and the CFTC, respectively, pursuant to the offsets permitted under the orders.

In re: United States Oil Fund, LP Securities Litigation

On June 19, 2020, USCF, USO, John P. Love, and Stuart P. Crumbaugh were named as defendants in a putative class action filed by purported shareholder Robert Lucas (the “Lucas Class Action”). The Court thereafter consolidated the Lucas Class Action with two related putative class actions filed on July 31, 2020 and August 13, 2020, and appointed a lead plaintiff. The consolidated class action is pending in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York under the caption In re: United States Oil Fund, LP Securities Litigation, Civil Action No. 1:20-cv-04740.

On November 30, 2020, the lead plaintiff filed an amended complaint (the “Amended Lucas Class Complaint”). The Amended Lucas Class Complaint asserts claims under the 1933 Act, the Exchange Act, and Rule 10b-5. The Amended Lucas Class Complaint challenges statements in registration statements that became effective on February 25, 2020 and March 23, 2020 as well as subsequent public statements through April 2020 concerning certain extraordinary market conditions and the attendant risks that caused the demand for oil to fall precipitously, including the COVID-19 global pandemic and the Saudi Arabia-Russia oil price war. The Amended Lucas Class Complaint purports to have been brought by an investor in USO on behalf of a class of similarly-situated shareholders who purchased USO securities between February 25, 2020 and April 28, 2020 and pursuant to the challenged registration statements. The Amended Lucas Class Complaint seeks to certify a class and to award the class compensatory damages at an amount to be determined at trial as well as costs and attorney’s fees. The Amended Lucas Class Complaint named as defendants USCF, USO, John P. Love, Stuart P.

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Crumbaugh, Nicholas D. Gerber, Andrew F Ngim, Robert L. Nguyen, Peter M. Robinson, Gordon L. Ellis, and Malcolm R. Fobes III, as well as the marketing agent, ALPS Distributors, Inc., and the Authorized Participants: ABN Amro, BNP Paribas Securities Corporation, Citadel Securities LLC, Citigroup Global Markets, Inc., Credit Suisse Securities USA LLC, Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., Goldman Sachs & Company, J.P. Morgan Securities Inc., Merrill Lynch Professional Clearing Corporation, Morgan Stanley & Company Inc., Nomura Securities International Inc., RBC Capital Markets LLC, SG Americas Securities LLC, UBS Securities LLC, and Virtu Financial BD LLC.

The lead plaintiff has filed a notice of voluntary dismissal of its claims against BNP Paribas Securities Corporation, Citadel Securities LLC, Citigroup Global Markets Inc., Credit Suisse Securities USA LLC, Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., Morgan Stanley & Company, Inc., Nomura Securities International, Inc., RBC Capital Markets, LLC, SG Americas Securities LLC, and UBS Securities LLC.

USCF, USO, and the individual defendants in In re: United States Oil Fund, LP Securities Litigation intend to vigorously contest such claims and have moved for their dismissal.

Wang Class Action

On July 10, 2020, purported shareholder Momo Wang filed a putative class action complaint, individually and on behalf of others similarly situated, against defendants USO, USCF, John P. Love, Stuart P. Crumbaugh, Nicholas D. Gerber, Andrew F Ngim, Robert L. Nguyen, Peter M. Robinson, Gordon L. Ellis, Malcolm R. Fobes, III, ABN Amro, BNP Paribas Securities Corp., Citadel Securities LLC, Citigroup Global Markets Inc., Credit Suisse Securities USA LLC, Deutsche Bank Securities Inc., Goldman Sachs & Company, JP Morgan Securities Inc., Merrill Lynch Professional Clearing Corp., Morgan Stanley & Company Inc., Nomura Securities International Inc., RBC Capital Markets LLC, SG Americas Securities LLC, UBS Securities LLC, and Virtu Financial BD LLC, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California as Civil Action No. 3:20-cv-4596 (the “Wang Class Action”).

The Wang Class Action asserted federal securities claims under the 1933 Act, challenging disclosures in a March 19, 2020 registration statement. It alleged that the defendants failed to disclose to investors in USO certain extraordinary market conditions and the attendant risks that caused the demand for oil to fall precipitously, including the COVID-19 global pandemic and the Saudi Arabia-Russia oil price war. The Wang Class Action was voluntarily dismissed on August 4, 2020.

Mehan Action

On August 10, 2020, purported shareholder Darshan Mehan filed a derivative action on behalf of nominal defendant USO, against defendants USCF, John P. Love, Stuart P. Crumbaugh, Nicholas D. Gerber, Andrew F Ngim, Robert L. Nguyen, Peter M. Robinson, Gordon L. Ellis, and Malcolm R. Fobes, III (the “Mehan Action”). The action is pending in the Superior Court of the State of California for the County of Alameda as Case No. RG20070732.

The Mehan Action alleges that the defendants breached their fiduciary duties to USO and failed to act in good faith in connection with a March 19, 2020 registration statement and offering and disclosures regarding certain extraordinary market conditions that caused demand for oil to fall precipitously, including the COVID-19 global pandemic and the Saudi Arabia-Russia oil price war. The complaint seeks, on behalf of USO, compensatory damages, restitution, equitable relief, attorney’s fees, and costs. All proceedings in the Mehan Action are stayed pending disposition of the motion(s) to dismiss in In re: United States Oil Fund, LP Securities Litigation.

USCF, USO, and the other defendants intend to vigorously contest such claims.

In re United States Oil Fund, LP Derivative Litigation

On August 27, 2020, purported shareholders Michael Cantrell and AML Pharm. Inc. DBA Golden International filed two separate derivative actions on behalf of nominal defendant USO, against defendants USCF, John P. Love, Stuart P. Crumbaugh, Andrew F Ngim, Gordon L. Ellis, Malcolm R. Fobes, III, Nicholas D. Gerber, Robert L. Nguyen, and Peter M. Robinson in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York at Civil Action No. 1:20-cv-06974 (the “Cantrell Action”) and Civil Action No. 1:20-cv-06981 (the “AML Action”), respectively.

The complaints in the Cantrell and AML Actions are nearly identical. They each allege violations of Sections 10(b), 20(a) and 21D of the Exchange Act, Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and common law claims of breach of fiduciary duties, unjust enrichment, abuse of control, gross mismanagement, and waste of corporate assets. These allegations stem from USO’s disclosures and defendants’ alleged actions in light of the extraordinary market conditions in 2020 that caused demand for oil to fall precipitously, including the COVID-19 global pandemic and the Saudi Arabia-Russia oil price war. The complaints seek, on behalf of USO, compensatory damages, restitution,

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equitable relief, attorney’s fees, and costs. The plaintiffs in the Cantrell and AML Actions have marked their actions as related to the Lucas Class Action.

The Court consolidated the Cantrell and AML Actions under the caption In re United States Oil Fund, LP Derivative Litigation, Civil Action No. 1:20-cv-06974 and appointed co-lead counsel. All proceedings in In re United States Oil Fund, LP Derivative Litigation are stayed pending disposition of the motion(s) to dismiss in In re: United States Oil Fund, LP Securities Litigation.

USCF, USO, and the other defendants intend to vigorously contest the claims in In re United States Oil Fund, LP Derivative Litigation.

Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures.

Not applicable.

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Part II

Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities. Price Range of Shares

USO’s shares have traded on the NYSE Arca under the symbol “USO” since November 25, 2008. Prior to trading on the NYSE Arca, USO’s shares traded on the American Stock Exchange (the “AMEX”) under the symbol “USO” since its initial public offering on April 10, 2006 until November 24, 2008.

As of December 31, 2023, USO had approximately 206,664 holders of shares.

Dividends

USO has not made and does not currently intend to make cash distributions to its shareholders.

Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

USO does not purchase shares directly from its shareholders. In connection with its redemption of baskets held by Authorized Participants, USO redeemed 322 baskets (comprising 32,200,000 shares) and 953 baskets (comprising 95,300,000 shares) for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2023, respectively. Monthly redemptions for the last three months are detailed below.

Total Number of

Average Price Per

Period

    

Shares Redeemed

    

Share

10/1/23 to 10/31/23

10,600,000

$

77.25

11/1/23 to 11/30/23

12,600,000

72.13

12/1/23 to 12/31/23

9,000,000

67.20

Total

32,200,000

Item 6. [Reserved].

Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.

The following discussion should be read in conjunction with the financial statements and the notes thereto of USO included elsewhere in this annual report on Form 10-K.

Forward-Looking Information

This annual report on Form 10-K, including this “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations,” contains forward-looking statements regarding the plans and objectives of management for future operations. This information may involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause USO’s actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by any forward-looking statements. USO believes these factors include, but are not limited to, the following: changes in inflation in the United States, movements in U.S. and foreign currencies, market volatility in the crude oil markets and futures markets in part attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic in February 2020, the Russia-Ukraine war and conflicts in the Middle East. Forward-looking statements, which involve assumptions and describe USO’s future plans, strategies and expectations, are generally identifiable by use of the words “may,” “will,” “should,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “believe,” “intend” or “project,” the negative of these words, other variations on these words or comparable terminology. These forward-looking statements are based on assumptions that may be incorrect, and USO cannot assure investors that the projections included in these forward-looking statements will come to pass. USO’s actual results could differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements as a result of various factors.

USO has based the forward-looking statements included in this annual report on Form 10-K on information available to it on the date of this annual report on Form 10-K, and USO assumes no obligation to update any such forward-looking statements. Although USO undertakes no obligation to revise or update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, investors are advised to consult any additional disclosures that USO may make directly to them or through reports that USO files in the future with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), including annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and current reports on Form 8-K.

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Introduction

USO, a Delaware limited partnership, is a commodity pool that issues shares that may be purchased and sold on the NYSE Arca. The investment objective of USO is for the daily changes in percentage terms of its shares’ per share NAV to reflect the daily changes in percentage terms of the spot price of light, sweet crude oil delivered to Cushing, Oklahoma, as measured by the daily changes in the price of the futures contract for light, sweet crude oil traded on the NYMEX that is the near month contract to expire and changes, over a ten-day period, into the NYMEX futures contract that is the next month to expire (the “Benchmark Oil Futures Contract”), plus interest earned on USO’s collateral holdings, less USO’s expenses.The change from the near month contract to the next month contract occurs at the beginning of each month and will be approximately proportional, relative to total net assets, over each day of the ten-day roll period. “Near month contract” means the next contract traded on the NYMEX due to expire. “Next month contract” means the first contract traded on the NYMEX due to expire after the near month contract. USO seeks to achieve its investment objective by investing so that the average daily percentage change in USO’s NAV for any period of 30 successive valuation days will be within plus/minus ten percent (10%) of the average daily percentage change in the price of the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract over the same period. As a result, investors should be aware that USO would meet its investment objective even if there are significant deviations between changes in its daily NAV and changes in the daily price of the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract provided that the average daily percentage change in USO’s NAV over 30 successive valuation days is within plus/minus ten percent (10%) of the average daily percentage change in the price of the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract over the same period.

USO invests primarily in futures contracts for light, sweet crude oil, other types of crude oil, heating oil, gasoline, natural gas and other petroleum-based fuels that are traded on the NYMEX, ICE Futures or other U.S. and foreign exchanges (collectively, “Oil Futures Contracts”) and to a lesser extent, in order to comply with regulatory requirements, risk mitigation measures, liquidity requirements, or in view of market conditions, other oil-related investments such as cash-settled options on Oil Futures Contracts, forward contracts for oil, cleared swap contracts and OTC swaps that are based on the price of oil, other petroleum-based fuels, Oil Futures Contracts and indices based on the foregoing (collectively, “Other Oil-Related Investments”). For convenience and unless otherwise specified, Oil Futures Contracts and Other Oil-Related Investments collectively are referred to as “Oil Interests” in this annual report on Form 10-K.

USO is currently invested in Oil Futures Contracts in months other than the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract. This has impacted the performance of USO and its ability meet its investment objective within as narrow a percentage difference between the average daily percentage change in USO’s NAV for any period of 30 successive valuation days and the average daily percentage change in the price of the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract as it typically had prior to the Spring of 2020.

Following the significant market volatility that occurred in the Spring of 2020 and the market conditions, regulatory requirements and risk mitigation measures taken by USO and USO’s FCM that impacted USO as a result thereof, USO previously disclosed the parameters for making decisions regarding the permitted investments USO would hold, including the intended order of priority in selecting investments and the type of investments to be held in its portfolio. Beginning with the monthly roll in September 2023 and ending with the monthly roll in January 2024, USO began transitioning its investment portfolio so that it primarily invests in Benchmark Oil Futures Contracts, consistent with USO’s investment strategy prior to the Spring of 2020. However, USO has had, and will continue to have, the ability to invest in Oil Futures Contracts beyond the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract and Other Oil-Related Investments, such as OTC swaps, and USO may make such investments if market conditions, regulatory requirements, risk mitigation measures (including those that may be taken by USO, USO’s FCMs, counterparties or other market participants), liquidity requirements, or other factors require USO to do so in order to meet its investment objective. USO may invest in Oil Futures Contracts beyond the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract, and/or Other Oil-Related Investments, as a result or in response to any of the foregoing factors.

USO’s investment objective is not for its NAV or market price of shares to equal, in dollar terms, the spot price of light, sweet crude oil or any particular futures contract based on light, sweet crude oil, nor is USO’s investment objective for the percentage change in its NAV to reflect the percentage change of the price of any particular futures contract as measured over a time period greater than one day. The general partner of USO, United States Commodity Funds, LLC (“USCF”), believes that it is not practical to manage the portfolio to achieve such an investment goal when investing in Oil Futures Contracts and Other Oil-Related Investments.

USCF believes that market arbitrage opportunities will cause daily changes in USO’s share price on the NYSE Arca on a percentage basis to closely track daily changes in USO’s per share NAV. USCF further believes that the daily changes in the price of the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract have historically closely tracked the daily changes in spot prices of light, sweet crude oil. USCF believes that the net effect of these relationships will be that the daily changes in the price of USO’s shares on the NYSE Arca on a percentage basis will closely track the daily changes in the spot price of a barrel of light, sweet crude oil on a percentage basis, plus interest earned on USO’s collateral holdings, less USO’s expenses.

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The following chart shows, for the period ending December 31, 2023, the rolling 30-day average difference between USO’s NAV and the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract. This is measured by subtracting the return of the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract from the return on USO’s NAV for each of the last thirty business days, and then averaging those thirty differences. The calculation is repeated daily.

Graphic

Prior to the Spring of 2020, USO achieved its investment objective by primarily investing in the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract and Oil Futures Contracts for light, sweet crude oil traded on NYMEX and ICE Futures with the same maturity month as the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract. In the Spring of 2020, significant market volatility occurred in the crude oil markets and the oil futures markets. Such volatility was attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic, related supply chain disruptions and disputes among oil-producing countries over the potential limits on the production of crude oil, and a corresponding collapse in demand for crude oil and a lack of on-land storage for crude oil. Certain circumstances resulting from such volatility caused USO to invest in Oil Futures Contracts other than the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract. In 2020, significant market volatility occurred in the crude oil markets and the oil futures markets. Such volatility was attributable in part to the COVID-19 pandemic, related supply chain disruptions and ongoing disputes among oil-producing countries over the potential limits on the production of crude oil, and a corresponding collapse in demand for crude oil and a lack of on-land storage for crude oil. These conditions severely limited USO’s ability to have a substantial portion of its assets invested in the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract and certain other Oil Futures Contracts of the same month, such as cash-settled, but substantially similar, oil futures contracts traded on ICE Futures (the “ICE WTI Contract”).

Accordingly, USO invested, and since then has continued to invest, in other permitted Oil Futures Contracts with expirations in later months than the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract. USO also invested, and has continued to invest, in other permitted investments, including Other Oil-Related Investments, including OTC swaps. In addition, during the Spring of 2020, USO had to rebalance and adjust the types of holdings in its portfolio more frequently than it had in the past.

Beginning with the monthly roll in September 2023 and ending with the monthly roll in January 2024, USO began transitioning its investment portfolio so that it primarily invests in Benchmark Oil Futures Contracts, consistent with USO’s investment strategy prior to the Spring of 2020. However, USO has had, and will continue to have, the ability to invest in Oil Futures Contracts beyond the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract and Other Oil-Related Investments, such as OTC swaps, and USO may make such investments if market conditions, regulatory requirements, risk mitigation measures (including those that may be taken by USO, USO’s FCMs, counterparties or other market participants), liquidity requirements, or other factors require USO to do so in order to meet its investment

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objective. USO may invest in Oil Futures Contracts beyond the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract, and/or Other Oil-Related Investments, as a result or in response to any of the foregoing factors.

Although permitted to do so under its LP Agreement, USO has not leveraged, and does not intend to leverage, its assets through borrowings or otherwise, and makes its investments accordingly. Consistent with the foregoing, USO’s investments will take into account the need for USO to maintain adequate liquidity to meet its margin and collateral requirements and to avoid, to the extent reasonably possible, USO becoming leveraged. If market conditions require it, these risk reduction procedures, including changes to USO’s investments, may occur on short notice.

Regulatory Disclosure

The regulation of commodity interest trading in the United States and other countries is an evolving area of the law. Below are certain key regulatory requirements that are, or may be, relevant to USO. The various statements made in this summary are subject to modification by legislative action and changes in the rules and regulations of the SEC, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”), CFTC, NFA, the futures exchanges, clearing organizations and other regulatory bodies. Pending final resolution of all applicable regulatory requirements, some examples of how new rules and regulations could impact USO are discussed in “Item 1. Business” in this annual report on Form 10-K.

Exchange Accountability Levels, Position Limits and Price Fluctuation Limits. Designated contract markets (“DCMs”), such as the NYMEX and ICE Futures, have established accountability levels and position limits on the maximum net long or net short futures contracts in commodity interests that any person or group of persons under common trading control (other than as a hedge, which an investment by USO is not) may hold, own or control. These levels and position limits apply to the futures contracts that USO invests in to meet its investment objective. In addition to accountability levels and position limits, the NYMEX and ICE Futures may also set daily price fluctuation limits on futures contracts. The daily price fluctuation limit establishes the maximum amount that the price of a futures contract may vary either up or down from the previous day’s settlement price. Once the daily price fluctuation limit has been reached in a particular futures contract, no trades may be made at a price beyond that limit.

The accountability levels for the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract and other Oil Futures Contracts traded on U.S.-based futures exchanges, such as the NYMEX, are not a fixed ceiling, but rather a threshold above which the NYMEX may exercise greater scrutiny and control over an investor’s positions. The current accountability level for investments for any one month in the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract is 10,000 contracts. In addition, the NYMEX imposes an accountability level for all months of 20,000 net futures contracts for light, sweet crude oil. In addition, the ICE Futures maintains the same accountability levels, position limits and monitoring authority for its futures contracts for light, sweet crude oil contract as the NYMEX. If USO and the Related Public Funds exceed these accountability levels for investments in the futures contracts for light, sweet crude oil, the NYMEX and ICE Futures will monitor such exposure and may ask for further information on their activities including the total size of all positions, investment and trading strategy, and the extent of liquidity resources of USO and the Related Public Funds. If deemed necessary by the NYMEX and/or ICE Futures, USO could be ordered to reduce its Crude Oil Futures CL contracts to below the 10,000 single month and/or 20,000 all month accountability level. As of December 31, 2023, USO held 18,103 NYMEX WTI Crude Oil Futures CL contracts and did not hold any ICE WTI Crude Oil Futures contracts. USO exceeded accountability levels of the NYMEX during the year ended December 31, 2022, including when it held a maximum of 21,570 Crude Oil Futures CL contracts on the NYMEX, exceeding the “any” month limit. No action was taken by the NYMEX and USO did not have to reduce the number of positions held.

Position limits differ from accountability levels in that they represent fixed limits on the maximum number of futures contracts that any person may hold and cannot allow such limits to be exceeded without express CFTC authority to do so. In addition to accountability levels and position limits that may apply at any time, the NYMEX and ICE Futures impose position limits on contracts held in the last few days of trading in the near month contract to expire. Investors should note that the foregoing accountability levels and position limits are subject to change, which in turn could change the amount and type of permitted investments in which USO invests. For the year ended December 31, 2023, USO did not exceed any position limits imposed by the NYMEX and ICE Futures. The foregoing accountability levels and position limits are subject to change. Due to evolving market conditions, remaining within relevant accountability levels and position limits, and, any additional or different risk mitigation measures taken by USO’s FCMs in the future with respect to USO acquiring additional Oil Futures contracts, USO has invested and intends to invest in other permitted investments, beyond the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract.

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Federal Position Limits

Part 150 of the CFTC’s regulations (the “Position Limits Rule”) establishes federal position limits for 25 core referenced futures contracts (comprised of agricultural, energy and metals futures contracts), futures and options linked to the core referenced futures contracts, and swaps that are economically equivalent to the core referenced futures contracts that all market participants must comply with, with certain exemptions. The Benchmark Futures Contract is subject to position limits under the Position Limits Rule, and USO’s trading does not qualify for an exemption therefrom. Accordingly, the Position Limits Rule could inhibit USO’s ability to invest in the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract and thereby could negatively impact the ability of USO to meet its investment objective.

Margin for OTC Swaps

Rules put in place by U.S. federal banking regulators, the CFTC and the SEC require the daily exchange of variation margin and initial margin for swaps between swap dealers, major swap participants, security-based swap dealers, and major security-based swap participants (“Swap Entities”) and swaps between Swap Entities and their counterparties that are “financial end-users” (such rules, the “Margin Rules”). The Margin Rules require Swap Entities to exchange variation margin with all of their counterparties who are financial end-users. The minimum variation margin amount is the daily mark-to-market change in the value of the swap, taking into account the amount of variation margin previously posted or collected. Swap Entities are required to exchange initial margin with their financial end-users who have “material swaps exposure” (i.e., an average daily aggregate notional of $8 billion or more in non-cleared swaps calculated in accordance with the Margin Rules). The Margin Rules specify the types of collateral that may be posted or collected as initial margin or variation margin (generally cash, certain government, government-sponsored enterprise securities, certain liquid debt, certain equity securities, certain eligible publicly traded debt, and gold) and sets forth haircuts for certain collateral asset classes.

USO is not a Swap Entity under the Margin Rules, but it is a financial end-user. Accordingly, USO will be subject to the variation margin requirements of the Margin Rules for any swaps that it enters into. However, USO does not have material swaps exposure under the Margin Rules and, accordingly, USO will not be subject to the initial margin requirements of the Margin Rules.

Mandatory Trading and Clearing of Swaps

CFTC regulations require that certain swap transactions be executed on organized exchanges or “swap execution facilities” and cleared through regulated clearing organizations (“derivative clearing organizations” (“DCOs”)), if the CFTC mandates the central clearing of a particular class of swap and such swap is “made available to trade” on a swap execution facility. Currently, swap dealers, major swap participants, commodity pools, certain private funds and entities predominantly engaged in activities that are financial in nature are required to execute on a swap execution facility, and clear, certain interest rate swaps and index-based credit default swaps. As a result, if USO enters into an interest rate or index-based credit default swap that is subject to these requirements, such swap will be required to be executed on a swap execution facility and centrally cleared. Mandatory clearing and “made available to trade” determinations with respect to additional types of swaps may be issued in the future, and, when finalized, could require USO to electronically execute and centrally clear certain OTC instruments presently entered into and settled on a bi-lateral basis. If a swap is required to be cleared, initial and variation margin requirements are set by the relevant clearing organization, subject to certain regulatory requirements and guidelines. Additional margin may be required and held by USO’s FCMs.

Other Requirements for Swaps

In addition to the margin requirements described above, swaps that are not required to be cleared and executed on a SEF but that are executed bilaterally are also subject to various requirements pursuant to CFTC regulations, including, among other things, reporting and recordkeeping requirements and, depending on the status of the counterparties, trading documentation requirements and dispute resolution requirements.

Derivatives Regulations in Non-U.S. Jurisdictions

In addition to U.S. laws and regulations, USO may be subject to non-U.S. derivatives laws and regulations if it engages in futures and/or swap transactions with non-U.S. persons. For example, USO may be impacted by European laws and regulations to the extent that it engages in futures transactions on European exchanges or derivatives transactions with European entities. Other jurisdictions impose requirements applicable to futures and derivatives that are similar to those imposed by the U.S., including position limits, margin, clearing and trade execution requirements.

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The CFTC is generally prohibited by statute from regulating trading on non-U.S. futures exchanges and markets. The CFTC, however, has adopted regulations relating to the marketing of non-U.S. futures contracts in the United States. These regulations permit certain contracts on non-U.S. exchanges to be offered and sold in the United States.

Infectious disease outbreaks like COVID-19 could negatively affect the valuation and performance of USO’s investments

An outbreak of infectious respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus known as COVID-19 was first detected in China in December 2019 and spread globally. In March 2020, the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic. COVID-19 resulted in numerous deaths, travel restrictions, closed international borders, enhanced health screenings at ports of entry and elsewhere, disruption of and delays in healthcare service preparation and delivery, prolonged quarantines and the imposition of both local and more widespread “work from home” measures, cancellations, loss of employment, supply chain disruptions, and lower consumer and institutional demand for goods and services, as well as general concern and uncertainty. The spread of COVID-19 had a material adverse impact on local economies in the affected jurisdictions and also on the global economy, as cross border commercial activity and market sentiment were impacted by the outbreak and government and other measures seeking to contain its spread. COVID-19 had a material adverse impact on the crude oil markets and oil futures markets to the extent economic activity and the use of crude oil continues to be curtailed, which in turn had a significant adverse effect on the prices of Oil Futures Contracts, including the Benchmark Oil Futures Contracts, and Other Oil-Related Investments.

Infectious disease outbreaks like COVID-19 may arise in the future and could adversely affect individual issuers and capital markets in ways that cannot necessarily be foreseen. In addition, actions taken by government and quasi-governmental authorities and regulators throughout the world in response to such an outbreak, including the potential for significant fiscal and monetary policy changes, may affect the value, volatility, pricing and liquidity of some investments or other assets, including those held by or invested in by USO. Public health crises caused by infectious disease outbreaks may exacerbate other pre-existing political, social and economic risks in certain countries or globally and their duration cannot be determined with certainty.

In a rising rate environment, USO may not be able to fully invest at prevailing rates until any current investments in Treasury Bills mature in order to avoid selling those investments at a loss.

When interest rates rise, the value of fixed income securities typically falls. In a rising interest rate environment, USO may not be able to fully invest at prevailing rates until any current investments in Treasury Bills mature in order to avoid selling those investments at a loss. Interest rate risk is generally lower for shorter term investments and higher for longer term investments. The risk to USO of rising interest rates may be greater in the future due to the end of a long period of historically low rates, the effect of potential monetary policy initiatives, including actions taken by the U.S. Federal Reserve and other foreign equivalents to curb inflation, and resulting market reaction to those initiatives. When interest rates fall, USO may be required to reinvest the proceeds from the sale, redemption or early prepayment of a Treasury Bill or money market security at a lower interest rate.

USO may potentially lose money by investing in government money market funds.

USO invests in government money market funds. Although such government money market funds seek to preserve the value of an investment at $1.00 per share, there is no guarantee that they will be able to do so and USO may lose money by investing in a government money market fund. An investment in a government money market fund is not insured or guaranteed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (the “FDIC”), or any other government agency. The share price of a government money market fund can fall below the $1.00 share price. USO cannot rely on or expect a government money market fund’s adviser or its affiliates to enter into support agreements or take other actions to maintain the government money market fund’s $1.00 share price. The credit quality of a government money market fund’s holdings can change rapidly in certain markets, and the default of a single holding could have an adverse impact on the government money market fund’s share price. Due to fluctuations in interest rates, the market value of securities held by a government money market fund may vary. A government money market fund’s share price can also be negatively affected during periods of high redemption pressures and/or illiquid markets.

Price Movements

Crude oil futures prices were volatile during the year ended December 31, 2023. The price of the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract started the year at $80.26 per barrel. The high of the year was on September 27, 2023 when the price reached $93.68 per barrel. The low for the year was on March 17, 2023, which was $66.93 per barrel. The year ended with the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract at $71.65 per barrel, a decrease of approximately (10.73)% over the year. USO’s per share NAV began the year at $70.05 and ended the year at $66.91 on December 31, 2023, a decrease of approximately (4.48)% over the year. The Benchmark Oil Futures Contract prices listed above began with the February 2023 contracts and ended with the February 2024 contracts. The decrease of approximately (10.73)% on

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the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract listed above is a hypothetical return only and would not actually be realized by an investor holding Oil Futures Contracts. An investment in Oil Futures Contracts would need to be rolled forward during the time period described in order to simulate such a result. Furthermore, the change in the nominal price of these differing Oil Futures Contracts, measured from the start of the year to the end of the year, does not represent the actual benchmark results that USO seeks to track, which are more fully described below in the section titled “Tracking USO’s Benchmark.”

During the year ended December 31, 2023, the crude oil futures market experienced states of both mild contango and strong backwardation. On days when the market was in contango the price of the near month crude Oil Futures Contract was lower than the price of the next month crude Oil Futures Contract, or contracts further away from expiration. On days when the market was in backwardation, the price of the near month crude Oil Futures Contract was higher than the price of the next month crude Oil Futures Contract or contracts further away from expiration. For a discussion of the impact of backwardation and contango on total returns, see “Term Structure of Crude Oil Prices and the Impact on Total Returns” below.

Valuation of Oil Futures Contracts and the Computation of the Per Share NAV

The per share NAV of USO’s shares is calculated once each NYSE Arca trading day. The per share NAV for a particular trading day is released after 4:00 p.m. New York time. Trading during the core trading session on the NYSE Arca typically closes at 4:00 p.m. New York time. USO’s Administrator uses the settlement price determined by NYMEX at 2:30 p.m. Eastern time for the Oil Futures Contracts held on the NYMEX and the settlement price determined by ICE Futures at 2:30 p.m. Eastern time for the Oil Futures Contracts held on ICE Futures, but calculates or determines the value of all other USO investments, other futures contracts, as of the earlier of the close of the NYSE Arca or 4:00 p.m. New York time.

Results of Operations and the Crude Oil Market

Results of Operations. On April 10, 2006, USO listed its shares on the AMEX under the ticker symbol “USO.” On that day, USO established its initial offering price at $67.39 per share and issued 200,000 shares to the initial Authorized Participant, KV Execution Services, LLC, in exchange for $13,479,000 in cash. As a result of the acquisition of the AMEX by NYSE Euronext, USO’s shares ceased trading on the AMEX and commenced trading on the NYSE Arca on November 25, 2008.

As of December 31, 2023, USO had issued 4,809,200,000 shares, 23,423,603 of which were outstanding. On August 29, 2023, the SEC declared effective a registration statement filed by USO that registered an unlimited number of shares. As a result, USO has an unlimited number of shares that can be issued in the form of Creation Baskets. More shares may have been issued by USO than are outstanding due to the redemption of shares.

On April 28, 2020, after the close of trading on the NYSE Arca, USO effected a 1-for-8 reverse share split and post-split shares of USO began trading on April 29, 2020. As a result of the reverse share split, every eight pre-split shares of USO were automatically exchanged for one post-split share. Immediately prior to the reverse split, there were 1,482,900,000 shares of USO issued and outstanding, representing a per share NAV of $2.04. Immediately after the effect of the reverse share split, the number of issued and outstanding shares of USO decreased to 185,362,500, not accounting for fractional shares, and the per share NAV increased to $16.35. In connection with the reverse share split, the CUSIP number for USO’s shares changed to 91232N207. USO’s ticker symbol, “USO,” remained the same. The accompanying unaudited financial statements have been adjusted to reflect the effect of the reverse share split on a retroactive basis.

As of December 31, 2023, USO had the following Authorized Participants: ABN AMRO Clearing USA LLC, BNP Paribas Securities Corp., Citadel Securities LLC, Citigroup Global Markets Inc., Goldman Sachs & Company, JP Morgan Securities LLC, Merrill Lynch Professional Clearing Corp., Morgan Stanley & Company Inc., RBC Capital Markets LLC, SG Americas Securities LLC, UBS Securities LLC and Virtu Americas LLC.

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For the Year Ended December 31, 2023 Compared to the Year Ended December 31, 2022

    

Year ended

    

Year ended

    

December 31, 2023

December 31, 2022

Per share net asset value, end of year

$

66.91

$

70.05

Average daily total net assets

$

1,586,716,936

$

2,564,979,187

Dividend and interest income earned on Treasuries, cash and/or cash equivalents

$

71,710,160

$

31,464,238

Annualized yield based on average daily total net assets

4.52

%  

 

1.23

%  

Management fee

$

7,138,269

$

11,542,406

Total fees and other expenses excluding management fees

$

4,005,576

$

3,929,191

Total commissions accrued to brokers

$

860,102

$

807,322

Total commissions as annualized percentage of average total net assets

 

0.05

%  

 

0.03

%  

Portfolio Expenses. USO’s expenses consist of investment management fees, brokerage fees and commissions, certain offering costs, licensing fees, registration fees, the fees and expenses of the independent directors of USCF and expenses relating to tax accounting and reporting requirements. The management fee that USO pays to USCF is calculated as a percentage of the total net assets of USO. The fee is accrued daily and paid monthly.

The decrease in the per share NAV for the year ended December 31, 2023, compared to the year ended December 31, 2022, was due primarily to lower prices for WTI crude oil and the related decrease in the value of the Oil Futures Contracts and other Oil Interests in which USO held and traded.

Average interest rates earned on short-term investments held by USO, including cash, cash equivalents and Treasuries, were higher during the year ended December 31, 2023, compared to the year ended December 31, 2022. As a result, the amount of income earned by USO as a percentage of average daily total net assets was higher during the year ended December 31, 2023, compared to the year ended December 31, 2022. To the degree that the aggregate yield is higher, the net expense ratio, inclusive of income, will be lower.

The increase in total fees and other expenses excluding management fees for the year ended December 31, 2023, compared to the year ended December 31, 2022 was due primarily to an increase in tax reporting and professional fees.

The increase in total commissions accrued to brokers for the year ended December 31, 2023, compared to the year ended December 31, 2022, was due primarily to a higher number of Oil Futures Contracts being held and traded.

Tracking USO’s Benchmark

USCF seeks to manage USO’s portfolio such that changes in its average daily per share NAV, on a percentage basis, closely track the daily changes in the average price of the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract, also on a percentage basis. Specifically, USCF seeks to manage the portfolio such that over any rolling period of 30-valuation days, the average daily change in USO’s per share NAV is within a range of 90% to 110% (0.9 to 1.1) of the average daily change in the price of the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract. As an example, if the average daily movement of the price of the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract for a particular 30-valuation day time period was 0.50% per day, USCF would attempt to manage the portfolio such that the average daily movement of the per share NAV during that same time period fell between 0.45% and 0.55% (i.e., between 0.9 and 1.1 of the benchmark’s results). USO’s portfolio management goals do not include trying to make the nominal price of USO’s per share NAV equal to the nominal price of the current Benchmark Oil Futures Contract or the spot price for light, sweet crude oil. USCF believes that it is not practical to manage the portfolio to achieve such an investment goal when investing in Oil Futures Contracts and Other Oil-Related Investments.

For the 30-valuation days ended December 31, 2023, the average daily change in the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract was (0.217)%, while the average daily change in the per share NAV of USO over the same time period was (0.195)%. The average daily difference was 0.022% (or 2.2 basis points, where 1 basis point equals 1/100 of 1%), meaning that over this time period USO’s NAV performed within the plus or minus 10% range established as its benchmark tracking goal.

Since the commencement of the offering of USO’s shares to the public on April 10, 2006 to December 31, 2023, the average daily change in the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract was 0.000%, while the average daily change in the per share NAV of USO over the same time period was (0.014)%. The average daily difference was (0.014)% (or (1.4) basis points, where 1 basis point equals 1/100 of 1%),

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meaning that over this time period USO’s NAV performed within the plus or minus 10% range established as its benchmark tracking goal.

The following two charts demonstrate the correlation between the changes in USO’s NAV and the changes in the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract. The first chart below shows the daily movement of USO’s per share NAV versus the daily movement of the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract for the 30 valuation day period ended December 31, 2023. The second chart below shows the monthly total returns of USO as compared to the monthly value of the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract for the five years ended December 31, 2023.

*PAST PERFORMANCE IS NOT NECESSARILY INDICATIVE OF FUTURE RESULTS

Graphic

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*PAST PERFORMANCE IS NOT NECESSARILY INDICATIVE OF FUTURE RESULTS

Graphic

An alternative tracking measurement of the return performance of USO versus the return of its Benchmark Oil Futures Contract can be calculated by comparing the actual return of USO, measured by changes in its per share NAV, versus the expected changes in its per share NAV under the assumption that USO’s returns had been exactly the same as the daily changes in its Benchmark Oil Futures Contract.

For the year ended December 31, 2023, the actual total return of USO as measured by changes in its per share NAV was (4.48)%. This is based on an initial per share NAV of $70.05 as of December 31, 2022 and an ending per share NAV as of December 31, 2023 of $66.91. During this time period, USO made no distributions to its shareholders. However, if USO’s daily changes in its per share NAV had instead exactly tracked the changes in the daily total return of the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract, USO would have had an estimated per share NAV of $63.98 as of December 31, 2023, for a total return over the relevant time period of (8.67)%. The difference between the actual per share NAV total return of USO of (4.48)% and the expected total return based on the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract of (8.67)% was a difference over the time period of 4.19%, which is to say that USO’s actual total return outperformed its benchmark by that percentage. USO incurs expenses primarily composed of the management fee, brokerage commissions for the buying and selling of futures contracts, and other expenses. The impact of these expenses, offset by interest and dividend income, and net of positive or negative execution, and net the difference in returns between USO’s current holdings and the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract tended to cause daily changes in the per share NAV of USO to track slightly lower than daily changes in the price of the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract.

By comparison, for the year ended December 31, 2022, the actual total return of USO as measured by changes in its per share NAV was 29.29%. This is based on an initial per share NAV of $54.18 as of December 31, 2021 and an ending per share NAV as of December 31, 2022 of $70.05. During this time period, USO made no distributions to its shareholders. However, if USO’s daily changes in its per share NAV had instead exactly tracked the changes in the daily total return of the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract, USO would have had an estimated per share NAV of $68.18 as of December 31, 2022, for a total return over the relevant time period of 25.84%. The difference between the actual per share NAV total return of USO of 29.29% and the expected total return based on the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract of 25.84% was a difference over the time period of 3.45%, which is to say that USO’s actual total return outperformed its benchmark by that percentage. USO incurs expenses primarily composed of the management fee, brokerage commissions for the buying and selling of futures contracts, and other expenses. The impact of these expenses, offset by interest and dividend income, and

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net of positive or negative execution, and net the difference in returns between USO’s current holdings and the Benchmark Futures contract tended to cause daily changes in the per share NAV of USO to track slightly higher than daily changes in the price of the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract.

As a result of market conditions and the regulatory response that occurred in March 2020 and thereafter, large numbers of USO shares that were purchased during a short period of time, and regulatory accountability levels and position limits on oil futures contracts that were imposed on USO, and risk mitigation measures imposed by its FCMs, USO invested in Oil Futures Contracts in months other than the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract.

Beginning with the monthly roll in September 2023 and ending with the monthly roll in January 2024, USO began transitioning its investment portfolio so that it primarily invests in Benchmark Oil Futures Contracts, consistent with USO’s investment strategy prior to the Spring of 2020. However, USO has had, and will continue to have, the ability to invest in Oil Futures Contracts beyond the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract and Other Oil-Related Investments, such as OTC swaps, and USO may make such investments if market conditions, regulatory requirements, risk mitigation measures (including those that may be taken by USO, USO’s FCMs, counterparties or other market participants), liquidity requirements, or other factors require USO to do so in order to meet its investment objective. USO may invest in Oil Futures Contracts beyond the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract, and/or Other Oil-Related Investments, as a result or in response to any of the foregoing factors.

During the fourth quarter of 2023 the rolling 30 day average daily difference between the return of USO’s NAV and the Benchmark Futures Contract was (0.022)% (or (2.2) basis points).

There are three factors that typically have impacted or are most likely to impact USO’s ability to accurately track Benchmark Oil Futures Contract in addition to the foregoing.

First, USO may buy or sell its holdings in the then current Benchmark Oil Futures Contract at a price other than the settlement price of that contract on the day during which USO executes the trade. In that case, USO may pay a price that is higher, or lower, than the closing settlement price of the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract, which could cause the changes in the daily per share NAV of USO to either be too high or too low relative to the daily changes in the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract. During the year ended December 31, 2023, USCF attempted to minimize the effect of these transactions by seeking to execute its purchase or sale of Oil Futures Contracts at, or as close as possible to, the end of the day settlement price. However, it may not always be possible for USO to obtain the settlement price and there is no assurance that failure to obtain the closing settlement price in the future will not adversely impact USO’s attempt to track the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract.

Second, USO incurs expenses primarily composed of the management fee, brokerage commissions for the buying and selling of futures contracts, and other expenses. The impact of these expenses tends to cause daily changes in the per share NAV of USO to track slightly lower than daily changes in the price of the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract. At the same time, USO earns dividend and interest income on its cash, cash equivalents and Treasuries. USO is not required to distribute any portion of its income to its shareholders and did not make any distributions to shareholders during the year ended December 31, 2023. Interest payments, and any other income, were retained within the portfolio and added to USO’s NAV. When this income exceeds the level of USO’s expenses for its management fee, brokerage commissions and other expenses (including ongoing registration fees, licensing fees and the fees and expenses of the independent directors of USCF), USO will realize a net yield that will tend to cause daily changes in the per share NAV of USO to track slightly higher than daily changes in the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract. If short-term interest rates rise above these levels, the level of deviation created by the yield would increase. Conversely, if short-term interest rates were to decline, the amount of error created by the yield would decrease. When short-term yields drop to a level lower than the combined expenses of the management fee and the brokerage commissions, then the tracking error becomes a negative number and would tend to cause the daily returns of the per share NAV to underperform the daily returns of the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract. USCF anticipates that interest rates may continue to stagnate over the near future. It is anticipated that fees and expenses paid by USO may continue to be lower than interest earned by USO. As such, USCF anticipates that USO could possibly outperform its benchmark so long as interest earned is greater than the fees and expenses paid by USO.

Third, USO may hold Other Oil-Related Investments in its portfolio that may fail to closely track the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract’s total return movements. In that case, the error in tracking the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract could result in daily changes in the per share NAV of USO that are either too high, or too low, relative to the daily changes in the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract. During the year ended December 31, 2023, USO held OTC swaps, which are considered Other Oil-Related Investments. If USO increases in size, and due to its obligations to comply with market conditions, regulatory limits, and risk mitigation measures imposed by its FCMs, USO may invest in additional Other Oil-Related Investments, such as OTC swaps, which may have the effect of increasing transaction related

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expenses and may result in increased tracking error. OTC swaps increase transaction-related expenses due to the fact that USO must pay to the swap counterparty certain fees that USO does not have to pay for transactions executed on an exchange.

Term Structure of Crude Oil Futures Prices and the Impact on Total Returns. Several factors determine the total return from investing in futures contracts. One factor arises from “rolling” futures contracts that will expire at the end of the current month (the “near” or “front” month contract) forward each month prior to expiration. For a strategy that entails holding the near month contract, the price relationship between that futures contract and the next month futures contract will impact returns. For example, if the price of the near month futures contract is higher than the next futures month contract (a situation referred to as “backwardation”), then absent any other change, the price of a next month futures contract tends to rise in value as it becomes the near month futures contract and approaches expiration. Conversely, if the price of a near month futures contract is lower than the next month futures contract (a situation referred to as “contango”), then absent any other change, the price of a next month futures contract tends to decline in value as it becomes the near month futures contract and approaches expiration.

As an example, assume that the price of crude oil for immediate delivery, is $50 per barrel, and the value of a position in the near month futures contract is also $50. Over time, the price of crude oil will fluctuate based on a number of market factors, including demand for oil relative to supply. The value of the near month futures contract will likewise fluctuate in reaction to a number of market factors. If an investor seeks to maintain a position in a near month futures contract and not take delivery of physical barrels of crude oil, the investor must sell the current near month futures contract as it approaches expiration and invest in the next month futures contract. In order to continue holding a position in the current near month futures contract, this “roll” forward of the futures contract must be executed every month.

Contango and backwardation are natural market forces that have impacted the total return on an investment in USO’s shares during the past year relative to a hypothetical direct investment in crude oil. In the future, it is likely that the relationship between the market price of USO’s shares and changes in the spot prices of light, sweet crude oil will continue to be impacted by contango and backwardation. It is important to note that this comparison ignores the potential costs associated with physically owning and storing crude oil, which could be substantial.

If the futures market is in backwardation, e.g., when the price of the near month futures contract is higher than the price of the next month futures contract, the investor would buy a next month futures contract for a lower price than the current near month futures contract. Assuming the price of the next month futures contract was $49 per barrel, or 2% cheaper than the $50 near month futures contract, then, hypothetically, and assuming no other changes (e.g., to either prevailing crude oil prices or the price relationship between the spot price, the near month contract and the next month contract, and, ignoring the impact of commission costs and the income earned on cash and/or cash equivalents), the value of the $49 next month futures contract would rise to $50 as it approaches expiration. In this example, the value of an investment in the next month futures contract would tend to outperform the spot price of crude oil. As a result, it would be possible for the new near month futures contract to rise 12% while the spot price of crude oil may have risen a lower amount, e.g., only 10%. Similarly, the spot price of crude oil could have fallen 10% while the value of an investment in the futures contract might have fallen another amount, e.g., only 8%. Over time, if backwardation remained constant, this difference between the spot price and the futures contract price would continue to increase.

If the futures market is in contango, an investor would be buying a next month futures contract for a higher price than the current near month futures contract. Again, assuming the near month futures contract is $50 per barrel, the price of the next month futures contract might be $51 per barrel, or 2% more expensive than the front month futures contract. Hypothetically, and assuming no other changes, the value of the $51 next month futures contract would fall to $50 as it approaches expiration. In this example, the value of an investment in the second month would tend to underperform the spot price of crude oil. As a result, it would be possible for the new near month futures contract to rise only 10% while the spot price of crude oil may have risen a higher amount, e.g., 12%. Similarly, the spot price of crude oil could have fallen 10% while the value of an investment in the second month futures contract might have fallen another amount, e.g., 12%. Over time, if contango remained constant, this difference between the spot price and the futures contract price would continue to increase.

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The chart below compares the daily price of the near month crude oil futures contract to the price of 13th month crude oil futures contract (i.e., a contract one year forward) over the last 10 years. When the price of the near month futures contract is higher than the price of the 13th month futures contract, the market would be described as being in backwardation. When the price of the near month futures contract is lower than the 13th month futures contract, the market would be described as being in contango. Although the price of the near month futures contract and the price of the 13th month futures contract tend to move together, it can be seen that at times the near month futures contract prices are higher than the 13th month futures contract prices (backwardation) and, at other times, the near month futures contract prices are lower than the 13th month futures contract prices (contango).

*PAST PERFORMANCE IS NOT NECESSARILY INDICATIVE OF FUTURE RESULTS

Graphic

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An alternative way to view the same data is to subtract the dollar price of the 13th month crude oil futures contract from the dollar price of the near month crude oil futures contract, as shown in the chart below. When the difference is positive, the market is in backwardation. When the difference is negative, the market is in contango. The crude oil market spent time in both backwardation and contango during the last ten years.

*PAST PERFORMANCE IS NOT NECESSARILY INDICATIVE OF FUTURE RESULTS

Graphic

An investment in a portfolio that owned only the near month crude oil futures contract would likely produce a different result than an investment in a portfolio that owned an equal number of each of the near 12 months of crude oil futures contracts. Generally speaking, when the crude oil futures market is in backwardation, a portfolio of only the near month crude oil futures contract may tend to have a higher total return than a portfolio of 12 months of the crude oil futures contract. Conversely, if the crude oil futures market was in contango, the portfolio containing only 12 months of crude oil futures contracts may tend to outperform the portfolio holding only the near month crude oil futures contract.

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Historically, the crude oil futures markets have experienced periods of contango and backwardation, with backwardation being in place somewhat less often than contango since oil futures trading started in 1983. Following the global financial crisis in the fourth quarter of 2008, the crude oil market moved into contango and remained primarily in contango until 2013. In 2014, global crude oil inventories grew rapidly after OPEC voted to defend its market share against U.S. shale-oil producers, resulting in another period during which the crude oil market remained primarily in contango. This period of contango continued through December 31, 2017. Declining global crude oil inventories caused the market to flip into backwardation at the beginning of 2018 through late October 2018, at which point ongoing supply growth in the U.S., combined with increased OPEC production, once again led market participants to fear another global glut of crude oil. The crude oil market was primarily in contango the first half of 2019 and in backwardation during the second half of 2019. Crude oil flipped back into contango in January 2020 and remained predominantly in contango throughout 2020.

In March 2020, contango dramatically increased and reached historic levels during the economic crisis arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, related supply chain disruptions and ongoing disputes among oil producing countries. This level of contango was due to significant market volatility that occurred in crude oil markets as well as oil futures markets. Crude oil prices collapsed in the wake of the COVID-19 demand shock, which reduced global petroleum consumption, and the price war launched by Saudi Arabia at the beginning of March 2020 in response to Russia’s unwillingness to participate in extending previously agreed upon supply cuts. An estimated twenty million barrels a day of crude demand evaporated as a result of quarantines and massive drops in industrial and manufacturing activity. Eventually, the United States, OPEC, Russia, and other oil producers around the world agreed to a historic 9.7 million barrel per day cut to crude supply. The supply cut along with the partial reopening of economies during the third quarter of 2020 reduced some of the unprecedented volatility that oil markets experienced in the Spring of 2020.

During the twelve months ended December 31, 2020, the crude oil futures market spent time in both a state of contango and backwardation as measured by the difference between the front month and the second month contract, whereas during the twelve months ended December 31, 2021, the crude oil futures market was primarily in a state of backwardation as measured by the difference between the front month and the second month contract. During the year ended December 31, 2022, the crude oil futures market experienced states of both contango and backwardation as measured by the difference between the front month and the second month contract, and during the twelve months ended December 31, 2023, the crude oil futures market also experienced states of both mild contango and strong backwardation.

As a result of market and regulatory conditions, including significant market volatility, large numbers of USO shares purchased during a short period of time, applicable regulatory accountability levels and position limits on oil futures contracts and risk mitigation measures that were taken by USO and USO’s FCM in 2020, USO invested in, and continues to invest in, Oil Futures Contracts with expiration dates for months later than that of the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract. Holdings in later month contracts will typically cause USO to experience lesser effects from contango and backwardation than would be the case if USO’s holdings were primarily in oil futures contracts in the first month or second month. Beginning with the monthly roll in September 2023 and ending with the monthly roll in January 2024, USO’s intention is to begin transitioning its investment portfolio so that it will primarily invest in Benchmark Oil Futures Contracts, consistent with USO’s investment strategy prior to 2020. However, USO has had, and will continue to have, the ability to invest in Oil Futures Contracts beyond the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract and Other Oil-Related Investments, such as OTC swaps, and USO may make such investments if market conditions, regulatory requirements, risk mitigation measures (including those that may be taken by USO, USO’s FCMs, counterparties or other market participants), liquidity requirements, or other factors require USO to do so in order to meet its investment objective. USO may invest in Oil Futures Contracts beyond the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract, and/or Other Oil-Related Investments, as a result or in response to any of the foregoing factors.

Crude Oil Market. During the year ended December 31, 2023, the price of the front month WTI crude oil futures contract traded in a range between $66.74 to $93.68. Prices decreased (10.73)% from December 31, 2022 through December 31, 2023, finishing the year at $71.65.

The simultaneous demand and supply shocks from the COVID-19 pandemic and Saudi-Russia price war precipitated unparalleled risk and volatility in crude oil markets during the first half of 2020. Global demand for crude oil plummeted by as much as 30% in the spring of 2020 as workers around the world stopped driving, airlines cut flight schedules, and companies suspended operations. Meanwhile, U.S. crude oil supply reached 13 million barrels per day (mbd), capping a period of almost continuous growth since 2016. To offset the seemingly unstoppable U.S. production juggernaut, OPEC+ (a loose coalition between OPEC and non-member nations such as Russia and Mexico) had maintained an uneasy series of agreements to curtail their crude oil output in order to support crude oil prices. However, in early March of 2020, Russia refused Saudi Arabia’s proposal to extend cuts in response to the COVID-19 demand shock. The kingdom retaliated with a massive production increase, launching an all-out price war in the middle of a pandemic. Although the members of OPEC+ reached a record-shattering agreement in mid-April of 2020, the implementation of new supply cuts came too late to prevent

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crude oil prices from plummeting to historic lows, culminating in a drop into negative territory for the May WTI crude oil futures contract on April 20, 2020.

During the second quarter of 2020, the International Energy Agency (IEA) reported that crude oil demand fell an average of 16.4 mbd while global crude oil supply declined by an average of 13.7 mbd. Demand evaporated as a result of quarantines and massive drops in industrial and manufacturing activity. Supply declined largely due to the historic agreement in April of 2020 between the United States, OPEC, Russia, and other oil producers. The bulk of the supply decline came from voluntary OPEC+ cuts while 2.8 mbd resulted from market driven cuts in the United States. As of June 30, 2020, U.S. production had dropped over 15%, rapidly falling back to 11 mbd. Oil producing rigs in the United States fell to 180 from over 670 at the start of the year, a massive decline that will likely see U.S. supply fall further. Finally, in late June of 2020 storage in the U.S. spiked to 541 million barrels while global storage reached 3.351 billion barrels.

The unprecedented twin crises described above caused unparalleled effects on oil futures markets during 2020.

First, front month WTI Oil Futures Contract prices dipped below $20 for the first time since 2002 and hit an all-time closing low of $(37.63). Multiple record-breaking returns occurred between March and May of 2020. The price of the front month WTI Oil Futures Contract averaged $28 during the second quarter of 2020 compared to $46 during the first quarter of 2020 and $57 during calendar year 2019.

Second, crude oil price volatility went off-the-charts. For example, the 30-day annualized volatility of front month WTI crude oil futures prices reached 984% in May 2020 after averaging 35% in 2019 and 25% in the first two months of 2020. (If May crude oil futures had not gone negative on April 20, 2020, volatility would “only” have reached 416%.)

Third, futures curves, which can exhibit conditions known as “contango” and “backwardation” as discussed above, moved into a condition that some market experts referred to as “super contango.” This was a result of extreme bearishness at the front of the futures curve due to rapidly filling storage facilities in the U.S. and around the world. Specifically, the price of the front month WTI Oil Futures Contract detached from the rest of the futures curve and fell to an extreme position relative to futures contracts with expiration dates in later months. On a percentage basis, the difference in price between the front month WTI Oil Futures Contract and the second month WTI Oil Futures Contract was more than double the previous record. This divergence caused the price of WTI Oil Futures Contracts with different expiration dates to move in different directions. For example, the price of the front month WTI Oil Futures Contract and second month WTI Oil Futures Contract typically move together (i.e., increase or decrease) about 99% of the time. However, in late April of 2020, the correlation of the price of the front and second month WTI Oil Futures Contracts was (24)%, meaning that these contracts were moving in opposite directions.

Fourth, USO, among other market participants, diversified its portfolio away from the front of the futures curve in favor of deferred contract months, as discussed in this Form 10-Q. The move by USO and other market participants to deferred contract months caused a historic change during 2020 to relative levels of open interest among the different futures contracts. For example, open interest in the front month futures contract fell an average of 40% during April, May, and June of 2020 compared to the average level of open interest during those same calendar months during the previous five years.

As economies reopened and OPEC+ supply cuts were absorbed by the market, WTI crude oil prices rose from all-time lows in the spring of 2020 to an average of $68.00 per barrel during calendar year 2021. WTI crude oil inventories in the United States fell from a modern record of 541 mb in June 2020 to 418 mb by the end of the fourth quarter of 2021. Crude oil production in the United States fell below 10 mbd twice in 2020 and once in early 2021 after peaking at 13.1 mbd in March of 2020. U.S. production rose to 11.8 mbd by December 31, 2021. Similarly, OPEC production declined from over 30 mbd pre-COVID-19 to a pandemic low of 22.5 mbd before gradually recovering to 28.1 mbd by December 31, 2021. While the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic appears to have decreased, elevated risk from the pandemic remains in the oil markets until the current and future COVID-19 pandemic mitigation measures have fully subsided.

Bullish fundamentals for crude oil prices were in place when Russia invaded Ukraine in February of 2022, causing the United States and other countries and certain international organizations to impose broad-ranging economic sanctions on Russia and certain Russian individuals, banking entities and corporations as a response. The war in Ukraine, sanctions and the corresponding disruption in the supply of Russian oil, resulted in significant volatility in the oil markets, particularly in early March when WTI crude oil briefly rose to over $123.70 per barrel on March 8, 2022 then fell back to $95.04 per barrel on March 16, 2022, before rising and the falling again to end the first quarter of 2022 at $100.28 per barrel. A bullish trend for crude oil emerged from mid-April through early June 2022 when WTI crude oil again topped $120 per barrel before, once again, giving up gains to end the fourth quarter of 2022 at $80.26.

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Crude oil prices struggled to find direction during the first half of 2023 with seventeen notable price reversals, most of which exceeded $5. Prices rose dramatically in the third quarter, from approximately $70 to over $90. This strong bull market completely reversed in the fourth quarter and by December crude had plunged back to the $70 to $75 range. U.S. crude oil production growth accelerated in late July and rose until the end of the year, finally surpassing pre-pandemic levels and reaching a record of 13.3 mbd in December.

Global crude oil supply rose above demand during the fourth quarter of 2023. Russia and OPEC have still not returned to pre-pandemic production levels. OPEC has fiercely supported prices with voluntary cuts by and production quotas on member nations over the last several years. However, the November 2023 OPEC meeting was tumultuous and left the market uncertain of the cartel’s future commitment to cuts, despite an extension of voluntary cuts and expansion of collective curbs that amounted to 2.2 mbd until March 2024. Looking ahead, if OPEC’s strategic focus shifts from price support to market share defense, prices could come under further pressure. Conversely, demand for crude oil has slowly increased since the onset of the pandemic in 2020. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, crude oil consumption reached an all-time high at the end of 2023 and is expected to continue increasing in 2024. However, growth forecasts from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) and the International Energy Agency (IEA) have declined from more optimistic projections earlier in 2023. Nevertheless, ongoing demand growth during a time when OPEC continues to restrain supply could lead to stable or higher prices over time. Supply constraints, worker shortages, infrastructure and manufacturing energy usage, the Russia-Ukraine war, the terror attacks by Hamas on Israel and ensuing conflict in the Middle East, and other geopolitical tensions, political unrest, and attacks or threats of attack by terrorists, are other factors that could contribute to future increases in crude oil prices. Conversely, changes in OPEC policy, further non-OPEC production growth, and any sluggishness in the global economy could weigh on prices.

Geopolitical risk is expected to be particularly high in 2024. The Russia-Ukraine war and Middle East conflict have the potential to create further supply disruptions and sanctions, which could lead to further volatility. However, if a resolution to the conflicts were to occur, volatility could decrease and prices could decline somewhat in a short period of time. Crude oil prices may also be highly reactive to developments as global buyers and sellers of crude reposition their relationships.

Crude Oil Price Movements in Comparison to Other Energy Commodities and Investment Categories. USCF believes that investors frequently measure the degree to which prices or total returns of one investment or asset class move up or down in value in concert with another investment or asset class. Statistically, such a measure is usually done by measuring the correlation of the price movements of the two different investments or asset classes over some period of time. The correlation is scaled between 1 and -1, where 1 indicates that the two investment options move up or down in price or value together, known as “positive correlation,” and -1 indicates that they move in completely opposite directions, known as “negative correlation.” A correlation of 0 would mean that the movements of the two are neither positively nor negatively correlated, known as “non-correlation.” That is, the investment options sometimes move up and down together and other times move in opposite directions.

For the ten-year time period between December 31, 2013 and December 31, 2023, the table below compares the monthly movements of crude oil prices versus the monthly movements of the prices of several other energy commodities, such as natural gas, diesel-heating oil, and unleaded gasoline, as well as several major non-commodity investment asset classes, such as large cap U.S. equities, U.S. government bonds and global equities.

*PAST PERFORMANCE IS NOT NECESSARILY INDICATIVE OF FUTURE RESULTS

Crude Oil - 10 Years

 

Large Cap US

US Gov’t

Global

Equities (S&P

Bonds (BEUSG4

Equities (FTSE

Unleaded

Correlation Matrix 10 Years

500)

Index)

World Index)

Gasoline

Heating Oil

Natural Gas

Crude Oil

Large Cap US Equities (S&P 500)

1.000

0.090

0.978

0.468

0.206

0.106

0.357

US Gov’t Bonds (BEUSG4 Index)

1.000

0.099

(0.200)

(0.404)

(0.177)

(0.260)

Global Equities (FTSE World Index)

1.000

0.515

0.254

0.066

0.409

Unleaded Gasoline

1.000

0.644

0.088

0.752

Heating Oil

1.000

0.116

0.745

Natural Gas

1.000

0.062

Crude Oil

1.000

Source: Bloomberg, NYMEX

Source: Bloomberg, NYMEX

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The table below covers a more recent, but much shorter, range of dates than the above table.

*PAST PERFORMANCE IS NOT NECESSARILY INDICATIVE OF FUTURE RESULTS

Crude Oil - 1 Year

 

Large Cap US

Global

 

Equities (S&P

US Gov’t Bonds

Equities (FTSE

Unleaded

 

Correlation Matrix 1 Year

500)

(BEUSG4 Index)

World Index)

Gasoline

Heating Oil

Natural Gas

Crude Oil

Large Cap US Equities (S&P 500)

1.000

0.750

0.982

0.474

0.005

(0.182)

(0.068)

US Gov’t Bonds (BEUSG4 Index)

1.000

0.788

0.387

(0.273)

(0.562)

(0.237)

Global Equities (FTSE World Index)

1.000

0.482

0.013

(0.303)

(0.018)

Unleaded Gasoline

1.000

0.390

(0.453)

0.292

Heating Oil

1.000

0.089

0.826

Natural Gas

1.000

0.090

Crude Oil

1.000

Source: Bloomberg, NYMEX

Source: Bloomberg, NYMEX

Investors are cautioned that the historical price relationships between crude oil and various other energy commodities, as well as other investment asset classes, as measured by correlation may not be reliable predictors of future price movements and correlation results. The results pictured above would have been different if a different range of dates had been selected. USCF believes that crude oil has historically not demonstrated a strong correlation with equities or bonds over long periods of time. However, USCF also believes that in the future it is possible that crude oil could have long term correlation results that indicate prices of crude oil more closely track the movements of equities or bonds. In addition, USCF believes that, when measured over time periods shorter than ten years, there will always be some periods where the correlation of crude oil to equities and bonds will be either more strongly positively correlated or more strongly negatively correlated than the long term historical results suggest.

The correlations between crude oil, natural gas, diesel-heating oil and gasoline are relevant because USCF endeavors to invest USO’s assets in Oil Futures Contracts and Other Oil-Related Investments so that daily changes in percentage terms in USO’s per share NAV correlate as closely as possible with daily changes in percentage terms in the price of the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract. If certain other fuel-based commodity futures contracts do not closely correlate with the crude-oil futures contract, then their use could lead to greater tracking error. As noted above, USCF also believes that the changes in percentage terms in the price of the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract will closely correlate with changes in percentage terms in the spot price of light, sweet crude oil.

For the Year Ended December 31, 2022 Compared to the Year Ended December 31, 2021

The comparison of the fiscal years ended December 31, 2022 and 2021 can be found in USO’s annual report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2022 located within Part II, Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, which is incorporated by reference herein.

Critical Accounting Policies

Preparation of the financial statements and related disclosures in compliance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America requires the application of appropriate accounting rules and guidance, as well as the use of estimates. USO’s application of these policies involves judgments and actual results may differ from the estimates used.

USCF has evaluated the nature and types of estimates that it makes in preparing USO’s financial statements and related disclosures and has determined that the valuation of its investments, which are not traded on a United States or internationally recognized futures exchange (such as forward contracts and OTC swaps) involves a critical accounting policy. The values which are used by USO for its Oil Futures Contracts are provided by its commodity broker who uses market prices when available, while OTC swaps are valued based on the present value of estimated future cash flows that would be received from or paid to a third party in settlement of these derivative contracts prior to their delivery date and valued on a daily basis. In addition, USO estimates interest and dividend income on a daily basis using prevailing rates earned on its cash and cash equivalents. These estimates are adjusted to the actual amount received on a monthly basis and the difference, if any, is not considered material.

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Liquidity and Capital Resources

USO has not made, and does not anticipate making, use of borrowings or other lines of credit to meet its obligations. USO has met, and it is anticipated that USO will continue to meet, its liquidity needs in the normal course of business from the proceeds of the sale of its investments, or from the Treasuries, cash and/or cash equivalents that it intends to hold at all times. USO’s liquidity needs include: redeeming shares, providing margin deposits for its existing Oil Futures Contracts or the purchase of additional Oil Futures Contracts and posting collateral for its OTC swaps, if applicable, and payment of its expenses, summarized below under “Contractual Obligations.”

USO currently generates cash primarily from: (i) the sale of baskets consisting of 100,000 shares (“Creation Baskets”) and (ii) income earned on Treasuries, cash and/or cash equivalents. USO has allocated substantially all of its net assets to trading in Oil Interests. USO invests in Oil Interests to the fullest extent possible without being leveraged or unable to satisfy its current or potential margin or collateral obligations with respect to its investments in Oil Futures Contracts and Other Oil-Related Investments. A significant portion of USO’s NAV is held in cash and cash equivalents that are used as margin and as collateral for its trading in Oil Interests. The balance of the assets is held in USO’s account at its custodian bank and in investments in money market funds and Treasuries at the FCMs. Income received from USO’s investments in money market funds and Treasuries is paid to USO. During the year ended December 31, 2023, USO’s expenses did not exceed the income USO earned and the cash earned from the sale of Creation Baskets and the redemption of Redemption Baskets. During the year ended December 31, 2023, USO did not use other assets to pay expenses. To the extent expenses exceed income, USO’s NAV will be negatively impacted.

Although permitted to do so under its LP Agreement, USO has not leveraged, and does not intend to leverage, its assets through borrowings or otherwise, and makes its investments accordingly. Consistent with the foregoing, USO’s investments will take into account the need for USO to maintain adequate liquidity to meet its margin and collateral requirements and to avoid, to the extent reasonably possible, USO becoming leveraged. If market conditions require it, these risk reduction procedures, including changes to USO’s investments, may occur on short notice.

USO does not and will not borrow money or use debt to satisfy its margin or collateral obligations in respect of its investments, but it could become leveraged if USO were to hold insufficient assets that would allow it to meet not only the current, but also future, margin or collateral obligations required for such investments. Such a circumstance could occur if USO were to hold assets that have a value of less than zero.

USCF endeavors to have the value of USO’s Treasuries, cash and cash equivalents, whether held by USO or posted as margin or other collateral, at all times approximate the aggregate market value of its obligations under its Oil Futures Contracts and Other Oil-Related Investments.

USO’s investments in Oil Interests may be subject to periods of illiquidity because of market conditions, regulatory considerations and other reasons. For example, most commodity exchanges limit the fluctuations in futures contracts prices during a single day by regulations referred to as “daily limits.” During a single day, no trades may be executed at prices beyond the daily limit. Once the price of a futures contract has increased or decreased by an amount equal to the daily limit, positions in the contracts can neither be taken nor liquidated unless the traders are willing to effect trades at or within the specified daily limit. Such market conditions could prevent USO from promptly liquidating its positions in Futures Contracts. During the year ended December 31, 2023, USO did not purchase or liquidate any of its positions while daily limits were in effect; however, USO cannot predict whether such an event may occur in the future.

Since March 23, 2007, USO has been responsible for expenses relating to: (i) management fees, (ii) brokerage fees and commissions, (iii) licensing fees for the use of intellectual property, (iv) ongoing registration expenses in connection with offers and sales of its shares subsequent to the initial offering, (v) other expenses, including tax reporting costs, (vi) fees and expenses of the independent directors of USCF and (vii) other extraordinary expenses not in the ordinary course of business.

USO may terminate at any time, regardless of whether USO has incurred losses, subject to the terms of the LP Agreement. In particular, unforeseen circumstances, including, but not limited to, (i) market conditions, regulatory requirements, risk mitigation measures (including those that may be taken by USO, USO’s FCMs, counterparties or other market participants) that would lead USO to determine that it could no longer foreseeably meet its investment objective or that USO’s aggregate net assets in relation to its operating expenses or its margin or collateral requirements make the continued operation of USO unreasonable or imprudent, or (ii) adjudication of incompetence, bankruptcy, dissolution, withdrawal, or removal of USCF as the general partner of USO could cause USO, to terminate unless a majority interest of the limited partners within 90 days of the event elects to continue the partnership and appoints a successor general partner, or the affirmative vote of a majority in interest of the limited partners subject to certain conditions. However, no level

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of losses will require USCF to terminate USO. USO’s termination would cause the liquidation and potential loss of an investor’s investment. Termination could also negatively affect the overall maturity and timing of an investor’s investment portfolio.

Market Risk

Trading in Oil Futures Contracts and Other Oil-Related Investments, such as forwards, involves USO entering into contractual commitments to purchase or sell oil at a specified date in the future. The aggregate market value of the contracts will significantly exceed USO’s future cash requirements since USO intends to close out its open positions prior to settlement. As a result, USO is generally only subject to the risk of loss arising from the change in value of the contracts. USO considers the “fair value” of its derivative instruments to be the unrealized gain or loss on the contracts. The market risk associated with USO’s commitments to purchase oil is limited to the aggregate market value of the contracts held. However, should USO enter into a contractual commitment to sell oil, it would be required to make delivery of the oil at the contract price, repurchase the contract at prevailing prices or settle in cash. Since there are no limits on the future price of oil, the market risk to USO could be unlimited.

USO’s exposure to market risk depends on a number of factors, including the markets for oil, the volatility of interest rates and foreign exchange rates, the liquidity of the Oil Futures Contracts and Other Oil-Related Investments markets and the relationships among the contracts held by USO. Drastic market occurrences could ultimately lead to the loss of all or substantially all of an investor’s capital.

Credit Risk

When USO enters into Oil Futures Contracts and Other Oil-Related Investments, it is exposed to the credit risk that the counterparty will not be able to meet its obligations. The counterparty for the Oil Futures Contracts traded on the NYMEX and on most other futures exchanges is the clearinghouse associated with the particular exchange. In general, in addition to margin required to be posted by the clearinghouse in connection with cleared trades, clearinghouses are backed by their members who may be required to share in the financial burden resulting from the nonperformance of one of their members and, therefore, this additional member support should significantly reduce credit risk. USO is not currently a member of any clearinghouse. Some foreign exchanges are not backed by their clearinghouse members but may be backed by a consortium of banks or other financial institutions. There can be no assurance that any counterparty, clearinghouse, or their members or their financial backers will satisfy their obligations to USO in such circumstances.

USCF attempts to manage the credit risk of USO by following various trading limitations and policies. In particular, USO generally posts margin and/or holds liquid assets that are approximately equal to the market value of its obligations to counterparties under the Oil Futures Contracts and Other Oil-Related Investments it holds. USCF has implemented procedures that include, but are not limited to, executing and clearing trades only with creditworthy parties and/or requiring the posting of collateral or margin by such parties for the benefit of USO to limit its credit exposure. An FCM, when acting on behalf of USO in accepting orders to purchase or sell Oil Futures Contracts on United States exchanges, is required by CFTC regulations to separately account for and segregate as belonging to USO, all assets of USO relating to domestic Oil Futures Contracts trading. These FCMs are not allowed to commingle USO’s assets with their other assets. In addition, the CFTC requires FCMs to hold in a secure account USO’s assets related to foreign Oil Futures Contracts and, in some cases, to cleared swaps executed through the FCMs. Similarly, under its current OTC agreements, USO requires that collateral it posts or receives be posted with its custodian, and under agreements among the custodian, USO and its counterparties, such collateral is segregated.

USO may purchase OTC swaps in the future periods, see “Item 3 Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk” in this annual report on Form 10-K for a discussion of OTC swaps.

As of December 31, 2023, USO held cash deposits and investments in Treasuries and money market funds in the amount of $1,463,696,515 with the custodian and FCMs. Some or all of these amounts held by a custodian or an FCM, as applicable, may be subject to loss should USO’s custodian or FCMs, as applicable, cease operations.

Off Balance Sheet Financing

As of December 31, 2023, USO had no loan guarantee, credit support or other off-balance sheet arrangements of any kind other than agreements entered into in the normal course of business, which may include indemnification provisions relating to certain risks that service providers undertake in performing services which are in the best interests of USO. While USO’s exposure under these indemnification provisions cannot be estimated, they are not expected to have a material impact on USO’s financial position.

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Redemption Basket Obligation

In order to meet its investment objective and pay its contractual obligations described below, USO requires liquidity to redeem shares, which redemptions must be in blocks of 100,000 shares called “Redemption Baskets.” USO has to date satisfied this obligation by paying from the cash or cash equivalents it holds or through the sale of its Treasuries in an amount proportionate to the number of shares being redeemed.

Contractual Obligations

USO’s primary contractual obligations are with USCF. In return for its services, USCF is entitled to a management fee calculated daily and paid monthly as a fixed percentage of USO’s NAV, currently 0.45% of NAV on its average daily total net assets.

USCF agreed to pay the start-up costs associated with the formation of USO, primarily its legal, accounting and other costs in connection with USCF’s registration with the CFTC as a CPO and the registration and listing of USO and its shares with the SEC, FINRA and NYSE Arca (formerly, AMEX), respectively. However, since USO’s initial offering of shares, offering costs incurred in connection with registering and listing additional shares of USO have been directly borne on an ongoing basis by USO, and not by USCF.

USCF pays the fees of the Marketing Agent as well as BNY Mellon’s fees for performing administrative, custodial, and transfer agency services. BNY Mellon’s fees for performing administrative services include those in connection with the preparation of USO’s financial statements and its SEC, NFA and CFTC reports. USCF and USO have also entered into a licensing agreement with the NYMEX pursuant to which USO and the Related Public Funds, other than BNO, USCI and CPER, pay a licensing fee to the NYMEX. USO also pays the fees and expenses associated with its tax accounting and reporting requirements.

In addition to USCF’s management fee, USO pays its brokerage fees (including fees to FCMs), OTC dealer spreads, any licensing fees for the use of intellectual property, and, subsequent to the initial offering, registration and other fees paid to the SEC, FINRA, or other regulatory agencies in connection with the offer and sale of shares, as well as legal, printing, accounting and other expenses associated therewith, and extraordinary expenses. The latter are expenses not incurred in the ordinary course of USO’s business, including expenses relating to the indemnification of any person against liabilities and obligations to the extent permitted by law and under the LP Agreement, the bringing or defending of actions in law or in equity or otherwise conducting litigation and incurring legal expenses and the settlement of claims and litigation. Commission payments to FCMs are on a contract-by-contract, or round turn, basis. USO also pays a portion of the fees and expenses of the independent directors of USCF. See Note 3 to the Notes to Financial Statements in Item 8 of this annual report on Form 10-K.

The parties cannot anticipate the amount of payments that will be required under these arrangements for future periods, as USO’s per share NAVs and trading levels to meet its investment objective will not be known until a future date. These agreements are effective for a specific term agreed upon by the parties with an option to renew, or, in some cases, are in effect for the duration of USO’s existence. Either party may terminate these agreements earlier for certain reasons described in the agreements.

As of December 31, 2023, USO’s portfolio held 18,103 Oil Futures Contracts traded on the NYMEX. As of December 31, 2023 USO did not hold any Oil Futures Contracts traded on the ICE Futures. For a list of USO’s current holdings, please see USO’s website at www.uscfinvestments.com.

Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk.

Commodity Price Risk

USO is exposed to commodity price risk. In particular, USO is exposed to crude oil price risk through its holdings of Oil Futures Contracts together with any other derivatives in which it may invest, which are discussed below. As a result, fluctuations in the value of the Oil Futures Contracts that USO holds in its portfolio, as described in “Contractual Obligations” under “Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” above, are expected to directly affect the value of USO’s shares.

OTC Contract Risk

USO may purchase OTC contracts, such as forward contracts or swap or spot contracts. Unlike most exchange-traded futures contracts or exchange-traded options on such futures, each party to an OTC swap bears the credit risk that the other party may not be able to perform its obligations under its contract.

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USO may enter into certain transactions where an OTC component is exchanged for a corresponding futures contract (“Exchange for Related Position” or “EFRP” transactions). In the most common type of EFRP transaction entered into by USO, the OTC component is the purchase or sale of one or more baskets of USO shares. These EFRP transactions may expose USO to counterparty risk during the interim period between the execution of the OTC component and the exchange for a corresponding futures contract. Generally, the counterparty risk from the EFRP transaction will exist only on the day of execution.

Swap transactions, like other financial transactions, involve a variety of significant risks. The specific risks presented by a particular swap transaction necessarily depend upon the terms and circumstances of the transaction. In general, however, all swap transactions involve some combination of market risk, credit risk, counterparty credit risk, funding risk, liquidity risk and operational risk.

Highly customized swap transactions in particular may increase liquidity risk, which may result in a suspension of redemptions. Highly leveraged transactions may experience substantial gains or losses in value as a result of relatively small changes in the value or level of an underlying or related market factor.

In evaluating the risks and contractual obligations associated with a particular swap transaction, it is important to consider that a swap transaction may be modified or terminated only by mutual consent of the original parties and subject to agreement on individually negotiated terms. Therefore, it may not be possible for USCF to modify, terminate or offset USO’s obligations or its exposure to the risks associated with a transaction prior to its scheduled termination date.

To reduce the credit risk that arises in connection with such contracts, USO will generally enter into an agreement with each counterparty based on the Master Agreement published by the International Swaps and Derivatives Association that provides for the netting of its overall exposure to its counterparty, if the counterparty is unable to meet its obligations to USO due to the occurrence of a specified event, such as the insolvency of the counterparty.

USCF assesses or reviews, as appropriate, the creditworthiness of each potential or existing counterparty to an OTC swap pursuant to guidelines approved by USCF’s board of directors (the “Board”). Furthermore, USCF on behalf of USO only enters into OTC swaps with counterparties who are, or are affiliates of, (a) banks regulated by a United States federal bank regulator, (b) broker-dealers regulated by the SEC, (c) insurance companies domiciled in the United States, or (d) producers, users or traders of energy, whether or not regulated by the CFTC. Any entity acting as a counterparty shall be regulated in either the United States or the United Kingdom unless otherwise approved by the Board after consultation with its legal counsel. Existing counterparties are also reviewed periodically by USCF. USO will also require that the counterparty be highly rated and/or provide collateral or other credit support. Even if collateral is used to reduce counterparty credit risk, sudden changes in the value of OTC transactions may leave a party open to financial risk due to a counterparty default since the collateral held may not cover a party’s exposure on the transaction in such situations.

In general, valuing OTC derivatives is less certain than valuing actively traded financial instruments such as exchange-traded futures contracts and securities or cleared swaps because the price and terms on which such OTC derivatives are entered into or can be terminated are individually negotiated, and those prices and terms may not reflect the best price or terms available from other sources. In addition, while market makers and dealers generally quote indicative prices or terms for entering into or terminating OTC swaps, they typically are not contractually obligated to do so, particularly if they are not a party to the transaction. As a result, it may be difficult to obtain an independent value for an outstanding OTC derivatives transaction.

During the reporting period of this annual report on Form 10-K, USO’s OTC transactions comprised OTC swaps intended to reflect the return on USO’s investments in Oil Futures Contracts and EFRP transactions.

USO anticipates that the use of Other Oil-Related Investments together with its investments in Oil Futures Contracts will produce price and total return results that closely track the investment goals of USO. However, there can be no assurance of this. OTC swaps may result in higher transaction-related expenses than the brokerage commissions paid in connection with the purchase of Oil Futures Contracts, which may impact USO’s ability to successfully track the Benchmark Oil Futures Contract.

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Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.

United States Oil Fund, LP

Index to Financial Statements

Documents

    

Page

Management’s Annual Report on Internal Control Over Financial Reporting.

77

 

 

Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firms. (Cohen & Company, Ltd. PCAOB ID 925; Spicer Jeffries LLP PCAOB ID 349)

78

 

 

Statements of Financial Condition at December 31, 2023 and 2022.

82

 

 

Schedules of Investments at December 31, 2023 and 2022.

84

 

 

Statements of Operations for the years ended December 31, 2023, 2022 and 2021.

85

 

 

Statements of Changes in Partners’ Capital for the years ended December 31, 2023, 2022 and 2021.

86

 

 

Statements of Cash Flows for the years ended December 31, 2023, 2022 and 2021.

87

 

 

Notes to Financial Statements for the years ended December 31, 2023, 2022 and 2021.

88

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Management’s Annual Report on Internal Control Over Financial Reporting.

USCF assessed the effectiveness of USO’s internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2023. In making this assessment, it used the criteria set forth by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission in Internal Control Integrated Framework (2013). Based on the assessment, USCF believes that, as of December 31, 2023, USO’s internal control over financial reporting is effective.

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REPORT OF INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM

To the Partners of

United States Oil Fund, LP

Opinions on the Financial Statements and Internal Control over Financial Reporting

We have audited the accompanying statement of financial condition, including the schedule of investments, of United States Oil Fund, LP (the “Fund”) as of December 31, 2023, the related statements of operations, changes in partners’ capital, and cash flows for the year then ended, and the related notes (collectively referred to as the “financial statements”). We also have audited the Fund’s internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2023 based on criteria established in Internal Control—Integrated Framework (2013) issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (“COSO”).

In our opinion, the financial statements referred to above present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Fund as of December 31, 2023 and the results of its operations, changes in partners' capital, and its cash flows for the year then ended, in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America.  Also, in our opinion, the Fund maintained, in all material respects, effective internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2023 based on criteria established in Internal Control—Integrated Framework (2013) issued by COSO.

The Fund’s financial statements and internal control over financial reporting for the years ended December 31, 2022, and prior, were audited by other auditors whose report dated February 27, 2023, expressed an unqualified opinion on those financial statements and internal control over financial reporting.

Basis for Opinions

The Funds management is responsible for these financial statements, for maintaining effective internal control over financial reporting, and for its assessment of the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting included in the accompanying Managements Annual Report on Internal Control over Financial Reporting. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on the Funds financial statements and an opinion on the Funds internal control over financial reporting based on our audit. We are a public accounting firm registered with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) (PCAOB) and are required to be independent with respect to the Fund in accordance with the U.S. federal securities laws and the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the PCAOB.

We conducted our audit in accordance with the standards of the PCAOB. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement, whether due to error or fraud, and whether effective internal control over financial reporting was maintained in all material respects.

Our audit of the financial statements included performing procedures to assess the risks of material misstatement of the financial statements, whether due to error or fraud, and performing procedures that respond to those risks. Such procedures included examining, on a test basis, evidence regarding the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. Our audit also included evaluating the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall presentation of the financial statements. Our audit of internal control over financial reporting included obtaining an understanding of internal control over financial reporting, assessing the risk that a material weakness exists, and testing and evaluating the design and operating effectiveness of internal control based on the assessed risk. Our audit also included performing such other procedures as we considered necessary in the circumstances. We believe that our audit provides a reasonable basis for our opinions.

Definition and Limitations of Internal Control over Financial Reporting

A companys internal control over financial reporting is a process designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements for external purposes in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. A companys internal control over financial reporting includes those policies and procedures that (1) pertain to the maintenance of records that, in reasonable detail, accurately and fairly reflect the transactions and dispositions of the assets of the company; (2) provide reasonable assurance that transactions are recorded as necessary to permit preparation of financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, and that receipts and expenditures of the company are being made only in accordance with authorizations of management and directors of the company; and (3) provide reasonable assurance regarding prevention

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or timely detection of unauthorized acquisition, use, or disposition of the companys assets that could have a material effect on the financial statements.

Because of its inherent limitations, internal control over financial reporting may not prevent or detect misstatements. Also, projections of any evaluation of effectiveness to future periods are subject to the risk that controls may become inadequate because of changes in conditions, or that the degree of compliance with the policies or procedures may deteriorate.

Critical Audit Matters

Critical audit matters are matters arising from the current period audit of the financial statements that were communicated or required to be communicated to the audit committee and that: (1) relate to accounts or disclosures that are material to the financial statements and (2) involved especially challenging, subjective, or complex judgments. We determined that there are no critical audit matters.

We have served as the Funds auditor since 2023.

/s/ Cohen & Company, Ltd.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

February 29, 2024

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GraphicSPICER JEFFRIES LLP

Certified Public Accountants

4601 DTC BOULEVARD • SUITE 700

DENVER, COLORADO 80237

TELEPHONE: (303) 753-1959

FAX: (303) 753-0338

www.spicerjeffries.com

REPORT OF INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM

To the Partners of

United States Oil Fund, LP

Opinions on the Financial Statements and Internal Control over Financial Reporting

We have audited the accompanying statement of financial condition of United States Oil Fund, LP (the “Fund”) as of December 31, 2022, including the schedule of investments as of December 31, 2022, and the related statements of operations, changes in partners’ capital and cash flows for each of the years in the two-year period ended December 31, 2022, and the related notes (collectively referred to as the “financial statements”). We also have audited the Fund’s internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2022, based on criteria established in Internal Control — Integrated Framework (2013) issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (“COSO”).  

In our opinion, the financial statements referred to above present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of United States Oil Fund, LP as of December 31, 2022, and the results of its operations and its cash flows for each of the years in the two-year period ended December 31, 2022, in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America.  Also, in our opinion, the Fund maintained, in all material respects, effective internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2022 based on criteria established in Internal Control — Integrated Framework (2013) issued by COSO.

Basis for Opinion  

The Fund’s management is responsible for these financial statements, for maintaining effective internal control over financial reporting, and for its assessment of the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting included in the accompanying Management’s Annual Report on Internal Control over Financial Reporting. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on the Fund’s financial statements and an opinion on the Fund’s internal control over financial reporting based on our audits. We are a public accounting firm registered with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) (PCAOB) and are required to be independent with respect to the Fund in accordance with the U.S. federal securities laws and the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the PCAOB.

We conducted our audits in accordance with the standards of the PCAOB. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audits to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement, whether due to error or fraud, and whether effective internal control over financial reporting was maintained in all material respects.

Graphic

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Our audits of the financial statements included performing procedures to assess the risks of material misstatement of the financial statements, whether due to error or fraud, and performing procedures that respond to those risks. Such procedures included examining, on a test basis, evidence regarding the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. Our audits also included evaluating the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall presentation of the financial statements. Our audit of internal control over financial reporting included obtaining an understanding of internal control over financial reporting, assessing the risk that a material weakness exists, and testing and evaluating the design and operating effectiveness of internal control based on the assessed risk. Our audits also included performing such other procedures as we considered necessary in the circumstances. We believe that our audits provide a reasonable basis for our opinions.

Definition and Limitations of Internal Control over Financial Reporting

A Fund’s internal control over financial reporting is a process designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements for external purposes in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. A Fund’s internal control over financial reporting includes those policies and procedures that (1) pertain to the maintenance of records that, in reasonable detail, accurately and fairly reflect the transactions and dispositions of the assets of the Fund; (2) provide reasonable assurance that transactions are recorded as necessary to permit preparation of financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, and that receipts and expenditures of the Fund are being made only in accordance with authorizations of management and directors of the Fund; and (3) provide reasonable assurance regarding prevention or timely detection of unauthorized acquisition, use, or disposition of the Fund’s assets that could have a material effect on the financial statements.

Because of its inherent limitations, internal control over financial reporting may not prevent or detect misstatements. Also, projections of any evaluation of effectiveness to future periods are subject to the risk that controls may become inadequate because of changes in conditions, or that the degree of compliance with the policies or procedures may deteriorate.

Critical Audit Matters

Critical audit matters are matters arising from the current period audit of the financial statements that were communicated or required to be communicated to the audit committee and that: (1) relate to accounts or disclosures that are material to the financial statements and (2) involved our especially challenging, subjective, or complex judgments. We determined that there are no critical audit matters.

/s/ Spicer Jeffries LLP

Denver, Colorado

February 29, 2024

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United States Oil Fund, LP

Statements of Financial Condition
At December 31, 2023 and December 31, 2022

    

December 31, 2023

    

December 31, 2022

Assets

Cash and cash equivalents (at cost $952,408,574 and $856,400,000, respectively) (Notes 2 and 5)

$

952,408,574

$

856,400,000

Equity in trading accounts:

 

 

Cash and cash equivalents (at cost $511,287,941 and $1,097,496,501, respectively)

 

511,287,941

 

1,097,496,501

Unrealized gain (loss) on open commodity futures contracts

 

3,051,930

 

22,185,936

Unrealized gain (loss) on open swap contracts

 

(1,906)

 

(4,145)

Receivable for shares sold

113,785,226

Dividends receivable

 

1,460,430

 

3,913,421

Interest receivable

 

4,646,281

 

2,827,515

Prepaid insurance

 

72,180

 

141,644

ETF transaction fees receivable

2,000

Total Assets

$

1,586,712,656

$

1,982,960,872

Liabilities and Partners’ Capital

 

 

Payable due to Broker

$

16,928,846

$

1,387,987

General Partner management fees payable (Note 3)

574,149

848,801

Professional fees payable

 

1,629,830

 

2,442,050

Due to custody

1,012,851

Brokerage commissions payable

 

119,336

 

107,462

Directors’ fees payable

 

32,993

 

42,213

License fees payable

81,961

104,170

Total Liabilities

 

19,367,115

 

5,945,534

Commitments and Contingencies (Notes 3, 4 & 5)

 

 

Partners’ Capital

 

 

General Partners

 

 

Limited Partners

 

1,567,345,541

 

1,977,015,338

Total Partners’ Capital

 

1,567,345,541

 

1,977,015,338

Total Liabilities and Partners’ Capital

$

1,586,712,656

$

1,982,960,872

Limited Partners’ shares outstanding

23,423,603

28,223,603

Net asset value per share

$

66.91

$

70.05

Market value per share

$

66.65

$

70.11

See accompanying notes to financial statements.

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United States Oil Fund, LP

Schedule of Investments

At December 31, 2023