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Petroleum Reserves

Strategic Petroleum Reserve

With a capacity of 727-million-barrels, the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve is the largest stockpile of government-owned emergency crude oil in the world. Established in the aftermath of the 1973-74 oil embargo, the SPR provides the President with a powerful response option should a disruption in commercial oil supplies threaten the U.S. economy. It is also the critical component for the United States to meet its International Energy Agency obligation to maintain emergency oil stocks, and it provides a national defense fuel reserve. 

Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve

The Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve is a one million barrel supply of ultra low sulfur distillate (diesel) for homes and businesses in the northeastern United States, a region heavily dependent upon the use of heating oil. 

Naval Petroleum and Oil Shale Reserves

The Naval Petroleum and Oil Shale Reserve (NPOSR) has a storied history beginning with its inception in 1912 during the Taft Administration, to the 1998 sale of its supergiant Elk Hills oil field (Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 1) to Occidental Petroleum under the Clinton Administration. The infamous Teapot Dome scandal in the 1920s during the Harding Administration may perhaps be the nadir in this storied history, but for the remainder of its almost-100 year history, the Reserves stood well managed to serve the Nation during times of both peace and war.    

Today, three of the four original Petroleum Reserves (NPR-1, NPR-2, and NPR-4) have been sold or transferred to the Department of the Interior, as have the three Oil Shale Reserves.  The only remaining oil reserve managed by the Department of Energy is the Teapot Dome field (NPR-3) in Casper, Wyoming, which is now a stripper field that also serves as the Rocky Mountain Oilfield Testing Center.  However, DOE operation of the Reserve will also soon come to an end.  On June 27, 2013, the Secretary of Energy reported to Congress the Department's intent to sell all right, title and interest in NPR-3 through a public competitive bid process.  NPR-3 is scheduled to be sold and transferred to new private ownership by the end of calendar year 2014. 

Read Secretary of Energy Ernest J. Moniz's Report to Congress. Read the press release.