SPR Key Program Events

In managing the Strategic Petroleum Reserve Program, the Office of Fossil Energy's overriding objective is to maintain the readiness of the oil stockpile for emergency use at the President's direction.

From 1993-2000, the Department of Energy's top priority was to ensure the continued readiness of the Reserve through at least the year 2025 by conducting a major life-extension program. This included replacing or refurbishing pumps, piping and other key components at the SPR's Gulf Coast sites. The program was completed in March 2000 on schedule and below original cost estimates.

On November 13, 2001, President George W. Bush ordered the SPR to be filled to approximately 700 million barrels by continuing to use the royalty-in-kind program carried out jointly between the Department of Energy and the Department of the Interior.  The royalty-in-kind program applied to oil owed to the U.S. government by producers who operate leases on the federally-owned Outer Continental Shelf.  The producers are required to provide from 12.5 percent to 16.7 percent of the oil they produce to the U.S. government.  Under the royalty-in-kind program, the government could either acquire the oil itself or receive the equivalent dollar value.  (Note: in September 2009, the Department of the Interior announced the cancellation of the royalty-in-kind program but honored its commitments in existing contracts.  The SPR's final cargo of December 25-27, 2009, was royalty-in-kind crude oil.)

In 2005, Congress directed the SPR to take actions to fill to its authorized size of one billion barrels. Because the Reserve has an authorized capacity of 713.5 million barrels, the SPR prepared a plan to expand to one billion barrels and conducted a site selection process to construct additional storage facilities. An environmental impact statement was also prepared. However, efforts to expand the SPR to one billion barrels were terminated in 2011.