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08 November 2001

Strategic Petroleum Reserve

Handy information for those urging immediate expansion of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, from Platts Electronic Oilgram News (8 October 2001):

It could take the better part of a decade to increase the storage capacity of the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve from 700-mil to 1-bil bbl, using existing and newly developed sites, the Energy Department estimated Oct 5.

The notion to sharply increase the capacity of the reserve comes from the House, with an energy subcommittee passing a non-binding resolution to that effect Oct 4 (ON 10/5).

There are now 544-mil bbl of oil in the 700-mil bbl capacity SPR, stored in salt caverns along the Gulf of Mexico in Texas and Louisiana. Salt caverns are considered the most economical way to store the huge quantities of SPR oil, and the most immediately available potential storage facilities are two existing caverns owned by Williams Cos adjacent to the Bayou Choctaw SPR site in Louisiana. Each cavern could hold about 10-mil bbl.

Platt's is an industry-leading subscription daily covering the energy industry, so I don't have a free link to post for the entire article. And these technical aspects of potential SPR expansion don't even address the economic arguments regarding taxpayer subsidies for the storage of such large quantities of a fungible commodity.

[Posted @ 01:27 PM CST]

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