Oil Reserve:

Status of Strategic Petroleum Reserve Activities as of September 30, 1988

RCED-89-63FS: Published: Jan 25, 1989. Publicly Released: Feb 2, 1989.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Department of Energy's (DOE) progress in developing, operating, and filling the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) during the 6 months ended September 30, 1988.

GAO found that, during that period, DOE: (1) added 9.7 million barrels of crude oil to SPR, increasing the inventory to 554.7 million barrels; (2) disbursed $130 million to the Mexican national oil company for oil acquisition and transportation; (3) appointed a committee to resolve continuing SPR instrumentation and control system problems; and (4) requested the Sandia National Laboratories to evaluate hardware and software at SPR sites. GAO also found that Congress appropriated: (1) $173 million for fiscal year (FY) 1989 for SPR development, operation, and management; (2) $242 million for oil acquisition to permit an average fill rate of about 50,000 barrels per day; and (3) $92 million for oil deliveries in the first quarter of FY 1990. In addition, GAO found that the Military Sealift Command: (1) determined that past overcharges on demurrage payments for oil delivered to SPR represented improper payments; (2) calculated that demurrage claims totalled $189,893; and (3) was taking steps to recover the funds from shipowners.

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