Under a new bill sponsored by Rep.
“We haven’t changed the mission of the SPR since it was established in the 1970s. This is long overdue,” Barton said in an interview Wednesday. “This [legislation[ would be a way to improve the efficiency of the oil markets, generate some income for the taxpayer and it would be a way to modernize the infrastructure of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.”
Constructed following the Arab oil embargo of the 1970s, the reserve is designed to pump millions of barrels a day into the global oil market during supply shortages, offsetting potentially damaging price spikes.
But with an oil shale boom on and
Over the next nine years,
With domestic oil production only expected to grow in the years ahead, increased demand for storage in the nation’s refining hub along the
“If our crude production is 11 million barrels a day now, and it’s building to 12 million barrels a day, we’re going to need storage,” he said. “Salt caverns are cheap, so it’s a pretty enticing option.”
A 2015 report from the
“It would be interesting if they could lease it out, but I don’t know if anyone would be interested,” said
At the same time, a rise in oil prices has drained storage facilities worldwide, leaving the
A concept conceived of less than four weeks ago, Barton said, staff members are still working out the details on how the petroleum reserve would be leased and how much revenue it could generate. But the
“I have talked to some [in the oil sector]. There is interest. It’s mostly positive. I’ve not had anyone tell me it’s a bad idea,” he said.
With bipartisan backing, the primary question is how quickly
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