Created in 1975, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, a network of underground caverns

May 9, 2015

Created in 1975, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, a network of underground caverns in Louisiana and Texas, was intended to smooth out, in the short run, the price spikes and possible shortages that could be caused by a disruption in supplies. It has a capacity of 700 million barrels of oil and now contains about 545 million barrels, which at the country's current rate of imports would last 53 days if foreign supplies were halted. The most the oil reserve has ever contained was about 590 million barrels in the early 1990s, which at the time would have been enough for about 82 days if there were no imports.

 

Source: Banerjee, Neela, "Bush Orders Oil Reserve Filled to Maximum," The New York Times, November 14, 2001, C1.

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