Recent Legislation Mandates Additional Sales of U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve Crude Oil – Why?

 

While we are looking the other way, Congress is managing to sell off our strategic reserves. Why might I ask? While the recent boon in energy finds in the USA is great, it still needs to be refined. The recent hurricanes have caused shortages requiring a release. We are one terrorist away from possibly needing our reserves again. I include a list of recent releases. As if that was enough, keep this old post in mind.

U.S. giving away ownership and control of our Energy and refineries 

Yes, let’s put the USA at risk.

US omnibus bill mandates sale of 10 million barrels of government …

PlattsMar 21, 2018
The bill also calls for lowering the threshold where the US government can drawdown crude from its emergency stocks. Under the threshold, set in the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975, the Department of Energy cannot take or sell crude from the SPR “if there are fewer than 350,000,000 barrels … then in February they were chipping away US mandates biggest non-emergency strategic oil sell-off ever

A little history on the stockpile:

The largest stockpile of government-owned emergency crude oil in the world, the SPR was established to help alleviate the effects of unexpected oil supply reductions. Located in four storage sites along the Gulf of Mexico, the SPR held more than 695 million barrels of crude oil at the beginning of 2017, or about 97% of its 713.5 million barrel design capacity. Prior to FY 2017 sales, the SPR inventory level had remained nearly constant for several years.

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, based on Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Note: Volumes sold in fiscal years 2017 through 2020 under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 Section 404 are estimates based on projected prices of West Texas Intermediate crude oil in the February 2018 Short-Term Energy Outlook and Annual Energy Outlook 2018.

Previous releases:

2012 Hurricane Isaac Exchange  |  2008 Hurricanes Gustav and Ike Exchanges  |  2006 Ship Channel Closure Exchange  |  2006 Barge Accident Exchange  |  2005 Hurricane Katrina Exchange  |  2004 Hurricane Ivan Exchange  |  2002 Hurricane Lili Exchange  |  2000 Heating Oil Exchange  |  2000 Ship Channel Closure Exchange  | 1999 Maya Exchange  |  1996 Pipeline Blockage Exchange 

Non-Emergency Sales Although the Reserve was established to cushion oil markets during energy disruptions, non-emergency sales of oil from the Reserve can be authorized to respond to lesser supply disruptions or to raise revenues.

2011 IEA Coordinated Release  |  1996 Weeks Island Sale  |  1996-1997 Sales to Reduce the Federal Budget Deficit

Continued:

A previous Today in Energy article described the three bills enacted in 2015 and 2016 that collectively call for the sale of 149 million barrels in FY 2017 through FY 2025. Most of these sales set volumetric requirements, and revenues from those sales go to the U.S. Department of Treasury. A section of one of those bills—Section 404 of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015—included authorization for funding an SPR modernization program by selling up to $2 billion worth of SPR crude oil in FY 2017 through FY 2020. In that act, the sales are based on revenue targets that must be authorized by Congress.

Exchanges Agreements Oil can also be released from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve under exchange arrangements (similar to loans) with private companies.  Exchange contracts provide for a loan of crude oil to be repaid, in kind, within a date certain, with additional premium barrels (similar to interest).

 

For information resources:

H/T: Global Energy Post

U.S. EIA: Today in Energy

A previous Today in Energy article described the three bills enacted in 2015 and 2016 that collectively call for the sale of 149 million barrels in FY 2017 through FY 2025

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