Status of Strategic Petroleum Reserve Activities as of June 30, 1983

RCED-83-203: Published: Jul 13, 1983. Publicly Released: Jul 13, 1983.

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Pursuant to a congressional committee request that GAO report on a quarterly basis through fiscal year (FY) 1985 on the administration's progress in filling the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) and in complying with the requirements of applicable law, GAO submits this review.

GAO found that Congress continues to consider SPR funding for FY's 1983 and 1984. Among other matters being considered is an $800-million deferral of SPR Petroleum Account funds which GAO reported to Congress. The Department of Energy's (DOE) ability to increase the FY 1983 fill capacity to increase the rate above 220,000 barrels per day will be constrained by the amount of oil that can be purchased, delivered, and stored in the remainder of the FY. A House Government Operations Subcommittee held oversight hearings on DOE management of the SPR program. GAO testified at these hearings on DOE followup procedures for resolving audit recommendations and efforts to install instrumentation and control systems at several SPR sites. The Secretary of Energy announced the reorganization of the SPR management in June of 1983. DOE reported that 20.7 million barrels were added to the SPR this quarter, for an average fill rate of about 227,000 barrels per day. This brings the total oil in the SPR to 332.5 million barrels. The DOE permanent storage capacity expansion program proceeded during the quarter with 23.9 million barrels of cavern volume being added. No major problems in the capacity development program were reported during the quarter. DOE estimated that payments during the quarter for oil acquisition and transportation were $238 million, bringing the total payments in FY 1983 to $1.2 billion. About $2.7 billion remains available to pay for oil deliveries and additional oil purchases.

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