Posts Tagged ‘national debt’

That is the amount of oil the US government has “borrowed” from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve without replacing. At $80/bbl, that’s ~$28 billion worth of oil. Not refilling the SPR exposes the US to much greater costs, in terms of economic and national security risks. Those who were around during the 1970’s certainly remember the embargoes and the resulting disruptions that led to the establishment of the SPR.

The SPR has a fill rate of only 685,000 bopd, so a complete refill would require 518 days, which would have to be spread over years because of supply, operational, maintenance, and price considerations. The promised purchase of 3 million bbls in February never occurred, and we are now told that DOE “would like to start buying within the next year, depending on the window of opportunity.” This is not particularly encouraging, especially given that the mandatory sale of another 26 million bbls is upcoming this spring. So it looks like the SPR may be down another 20+ million barrels heading into 2024, an election year. Good luck making significant purchases then.

This is the hole we are in as a result of non-emergency SPR sales for price moderation purposes. Meanwhile, Congress has proposed the following legislation:

The last bill is interesting, but has little chance of passing and would be difficult to implement given other legislative, judicial, and administrative constraints on leasing and production. Having a plan is one thing; implementing it is quite something else.

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