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Guidance for Requesting Emergency Oil from the SPR

If hurricanes or other unexpected physical conditions disrupt either crude oil imports or domestic production, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) is ready to make replacement oil available to the extent approved by the President and/or the Secretary of Energy.

This section provides SPR contacts and guidance for requesting emergency assistance, should physical events impede your supplies and no immediate supply alternatives remain. The SPR will be available to enter into emergency time exchanges to provide replacement crude oil until delivery of alternative barrels can be secured.

SPR Contacts

SPR personnel are available to answer any questions you might have. Please contact them immediately in the event of an emergency which might lead you to request SPR assistance.

Requests for SPR Assistance

Requests for SPR assistance must be submitted in writing to the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Petroleum Reserves. The request should be by e-mail to robert.corbin@hq.doe.gov (or FAX 202-586-7919), with copies to at least one other Washington, DC Program Office Point of Contact, and should include:

  • A description of the circumstances causing your supply shortage.
  • The current and projected impact of the shortfall on your refinery operations (i.e., days of stocks remaining, anticipated need to reduce refinery run or potentially shutdown) and any impacts on regional product supplies.
  • A statement that you have been unable to secure alternative crude oil supplies.
  • The quantity and type of SPR crude oil requested, including desired SPR site and delivery mode, if known.

Following receipt of your request, the Office of Petroleum Reserves will expeditiously obtain the necessary Departmental approvals and authorize the Project Management Office in New Orleans to enter into negotiations with you.

An exchange agreement involves return of the principal amount of similar quality crude oil to the SPR, plus payment of an in-kind premium determined according to the period negotiated for return. See the pro forma contract to become familiar with the provisions, including the required Letter of Credit format you might want to bring to the attention of your financial institution.