Watching Government: Safety net

12/11/2000
A little-known provision in a recent law reauthorizing the Strategic Petroleum Reserve could impact the US oil industry the next time oil prices plunge.The Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) reauthorization, enacted Nov. 9, contains a measure that allows the federal government to buy marginal well oil production at $15/bbl through 2003.The goal of the legislation was to assure that marginal wells are not shut in during periods of extraordinarily low oil prices.Under the provision, domestic prices would have to average less than $15/bbl for a year, and the $15 would be adjusted for inflation.The Department of Energy would store the oil in the SPR, presumably after swapping it for gr...
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