Status of Strategic Petroleum Reserve Activities as of December 31, 1982

RCED-83-93: Published: Jan 14, 1983. Publicly Released: Jan 21, 1983.

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This is the third in a series of reports GAO was requested to provide on the administration's progress in filling the Department of Energy's (DOE) Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR).

GAO discussed activities during the first quarter of fiscal year (FY) 1983 related to filling the SPR, establishing the FY 1983 fill rate, developing new permanent storage facilities, and determining the status of SPR funding. Specifically, GAO studied: (1) recovery of overpayments for oil at the St. James terminal; (2) an oil leak at the Bryan Mound storage site; and (3) DOE documents relating to SPR drawdown and regional petroleum reserves. DOE reported that the SPR contained about 293.8 million barrels of oil as of December 31, 1982. About 15.9 million barrels were added to the SPR for an average fill rate of about 173,000 barrels per day. The Defense Fuel Supply Center has reactivated the open, continuous solicitation for crude oil and has requested first offers by early January. DOE has continued its efforts to develop additional storage capacity and expects to decide on the required fill rate for FY 1983 during the next quarter. Acting under the Emergency Preparedness Act of 1982, the President found that the 300,000 barrels-per-day rate was not in the national interest and lowered the rate. GAO noted that an important issue is whether the act restricts the funds that can be used to order oil in a FY for delivery in future years.

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