DOE says SPR storage is at record level

The US Strategic Petroleum Reserve now holds 592 million bbl of oil, the largest volume of crude ever stored since the federal government began the emergency stockpiling measure in 1977.

By OGJ editors

WASHINGTON, DC, Nov. 18 -- The US Strategic Petroleum Reserve now holds 592 million bbl of oil, the largest volume of crude ever stored since the federal government began the emergency stockpiling measure in 1977, Department of Energy officials said Friday.

DOE expects SPR to reach its designed capacity of 700 million bbl in 2005.

"At a time when America's energy security is one of our highest national priorities, this milestone is especially timely," said Sec. of Energy Spencer Abraham. "Every barrel of oil in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve provides added energy insurance that helps protect Americans against emergency oil disruptions. That is why the president has committed to filling the reserve to its full 700 million bbl capacity."

Currently, about 100,000 b/d of oil produced from federal offshore leases are swapped for oil that meets SPR quality specifications. US officials predicted this fall that royalty-in-kind oil volumes dedicated to the SPR would increase to 130,000 b/d in 2003 (OGJ Online, Oct. 9, 2002).

Under the SPR fill program, the Minerals Management Service takes oil royalties in-kind, rather than cash, from offshore federal lease operators and delivers it to onshore market centers; DOE then takes custody of the oil and exchanges it for crude better suited for SPR stockpiles in Louisiana and Texas.

More in General Interest