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Irina Slav

Irina Slav

Irina is a writer for the U.S.-based Divergente LLC consulting firm with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.

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U.S. Strategic Oil Reserves At 12-Year Low

US SPR

The U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve is at a 12-year low after the Department of Energy made deliveries of volumes sold earlier this year, Bloomberg reported. According to the Department of Energy, at of June 30, the SPR had 682 million barrels of crude in it, after more than 10 million barrels were sold over the first five months of the year.

Yet, there is no cause for concern: shale production, according to energy analysts, has created a comfortable cushion against potential shortages, and the U.S. simply does not need to store as much petroleum as it once did.

“You only need 60 days of your net import of crude and products in the emergency stockpiles,” Macquarie Capital analyst Vikas Dwivedi told Bloomberg. “Given the fact that we don’t net import that much any more, we only really need 300 million barrels.”

Daily U.S. oil imports for the week to June 23 averaged some 8 million barrels, and 8.1 million bpd was the average for the last four weeks, according to the Energy Information Administration’s last weekly petroleum data report.

Total oil and product imports stood at 9.83 million bpd. Exports of crude and products averaged 5.6 million. Net crude oil and products imports for the week to June 23 stood at 4.23 million barrels. According to Bloomberg, this compared with a high of 14.4 million barrels daily in November 2005. Related: The Downturn Is Over, But U.S. Oil Companies Face A Huge Problem

According to the Department of Energy, the SPR was at its highest at the end of December 2009, holding 727 million barrels of crude – equal to the capacity of the four storage sites.

Earlier this year, at the presentation of his draft budget for 2018, President Trump included a proposal for the sale of around half of the SPR, for proceeds estimated at US$16.6 billion over a period of 10 years. If the shale industry continues to pump at a growing rate, a 50-percent reduction in the strategic petroleum reserves over a decade would hardly be felt.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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Leave a comment
  • Danny Hangartner on July 06 2017 said:
    This is such old news. Since the Kuwait war with Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia pledged to maintain a USA ten year stockpile at $5.00 per barrel. This was in case of a lengthy war where the USA might need such a stockpile. The States were using those stockpiles unchecked. After awhile, a lot of the oil was sold off before it even hit the US. Of course, now that bigger players may be involved, such as China and Russia, the States no longer finds it in their interest to fight some ten year war. They shouldn't be allowed to sell it for their own profits as it was sold to them under the assumption that it was for war time.
  • Timothy Smith, SFO on July 07 2017 said:
    I'm not sure it is a big issue anymore to have the stockpiles. This was put in place during the Arab Embargo to protect our interests. We have abundant energy, selling down some makes sense now in my opinion while we invest in new federal leases, infrastructure and prices stablize.

    Timothy Smith, SFO
    Petro Lucrum, Inc.
    Single Family Office

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