Management Control Procedures for Safeguarding and Maintaining the Strategic Petroleum Reserve

EMD-79-42: Published: Mar 27, 1979. Publicly Released: Mar 27, 1979.

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Energy legislation required the Department of Energy (DOE) to create a strategic petroleum reserve to substantially reduce the Nation's vulnerability to interruptions of foreign petroleum supplies. As part of a current review the following items were examined: the oil withdrawal capabilities at each of the existing storage sites, the status of the security measures taken or planned, and, to a limited extent, the measures taken to account for reserve oil losses or gains.

DOE establishd a reserve to offset the impact of an oil supply interruption and had a reserve storage target of 250 million barrels of oil by the end of 1978, while it was required by legislation to have 150 million barrels stored by that date. Neither amount was met. In the event a nonembargo emergency causes oil to be released from a cavern, DOE should be prepared to transfer the oil to other locations. However, DOE does not have a plan for dealing with such an event. Although each storage site has basic security measures, DOE did not have any site-specific plans for any of the sites. Despite the risk of theft and sabotage, DOE has not implemented individual site security plans for the three storage sites which contain about 74 million barrels of crude oil. As the reserve contiunes to increase both its monetary value and the role it can play in offsetting the impact of an oil supply interruption increase, DOE should adequately protect this investment.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Energy should: (1) install oil withdrawal capability at future storage caverns prior to oil injection; (2) develop a contingency plan for transferring the oil that may be released in nonembargo situations; and (3) insure that site-specific security plans are implemented as soon as practicable at the existing storage sites and that such plans are operational when equipment is installed and storage begins at future sites.

    Agency Affected:


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