Sunday, March 15, 2009

Quicklook: Strategic Petroleum Reserve

Dr. Webber briefly mentioned in class the Strategic Petroleum Reserves, and I thought it would be interesting to look a bit more into the SPR. Summarized below are some basic, easy-to-read facts I gathered from the Department of Energy’s website [1] and the Energy Information Agency [2]:

- the SPR was established as a result of the oil embargos in the mid 1970s

- the SPR consists of deep, underground salt caverns
- storage space for 1 barrel of crude takes 7 barrels of water to create

- the SPR is located along the Gulf Coast, in the states of Louisiana & Texas
- sites were chosen based on proximity to existing infrastructure, for ease of distribution

- the average price paid for SPR oil is $28.42/bbl

- current capacity of the SPR is 727 million barrels; current inventory is 708 million barrels

- at a current U.S. petro consumption rate of 20.7 million barrels per day, the SPR has a current inventory that would supply U.S. demand for roughly 34 days

- maximum drawdown capability is 4.4 million barrels per day; this would not even meet demand from daily gasoline consumption alone

[1] -
[2] -

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