Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Essential Energy Knowledge: the Strategic Petroleum Reserve

Part of focusing a lot of attention on new energy technologies and policies for DOD is making sure you understand the baseline. That is, what's in place now that informs and affects what we should do next. To that end, and for folks who've only heard it mentioned occasionally on the news, here's a quick primer on the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR).
  • Created after the OPEC oil embargo of 1973 to serve as a strategic buffer during future disruptions
  • Current SPR max capacity: 727 million barrels of oil, in underground salt domes, spread out over 4 sites in Texas and Louisiana
  • As of today (23 SEP 2008) : 704.4 million barrels. (You can get an updated tally every day here.)
  • Potential future capacity: 1 billion barrels, per direction of the Energy Policy Act of 2005
  • Drawdown rate: 4.4 million barrels per day
  • US current oil consumption: 21 million barrels per day
  • DOE's SPR Program Management office is located in New Orleans
There's much more SPR information and FAQs here directly from the DOE and here, at the ever-helpful Wikipedia.

Photo courtesy of the Department of Energy

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