Status of Strategic Petroleum Reserve Activities as of March 31, 1986

RCED-86-151: Published: Apr 18, 1986. Publicly Released: May 6, 1986.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO reported on the Department of Energy's (DOE) progress in filling, developing, and operating the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) during the second quarter of fiscal year (FY) 1986.

GAO found that the administration's FY 1987 budget included nearly $150 million for SPR development and management, but deferred about $776 million in storage-capacity development and oil-purchase funds under a proposed SPR moratorium. The proposed SPR moratorium and related funding deferrals have extended the planned SPR completion date beyond 1990, but DOE does not believe that the delay will adversely impact the reliability of storage site equipment. GAO found that: (1) DOE added 4.1 million barrels of oil to SPR, bringing total SPR volume to 496.9 million barrels; (2) the oil fill rate averaged about 45,500 barrels per day; (3) DOE made payments of $92 million for oil acquisition and transportation; (4) DOE had unpaid obligations of about $72 million; (5) DOE had about $644 million in unobligated funds; (6) the storage capacity development program remained stopped and DOE was preparing sites for standby operations; (7) ongoing construction projects at the Big Hill, Texas, site were not completed as scheduled; (8) DOE completed its SPR drawdown test sale and distribution exercise; (9) approximately 1 million barrels of oil were competitively sold to oil company bidders and subsequently withdrawn from DOE storage sites for delivery; and (10) distribution enhancement plans were changed, and all improvements to the Texoma complex and substitutions changes to the Capline complex were cancelled.

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