Strategic petroleum reserve (SPR)
Global Crude Reserves
The US: The country’s Department of Energy’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) is an emergency fuel storage that is the largest emergency supply in the world with the capacity to hold up to 727 million barrels. As of end-February 2015, the inventory was 691.0 million barrels, which was equivalent to about 37 days of oil at 2013 daily US consumption levels of 18.49 million barrels per day. The United States started the petroleum reserve in 1975 after oil supplies were cut off during the 1973-74 oil embargo, to tide over future temporary supply disruptions. The reserve is stored at four sites on the Gulf of Mexico, each located near a major centre of petrochemical refining and processing.
Japan: The country has the second largest emergency supply of oil with a reported capacity of close to 600 million barrels. The SPR is composed of two types of stockpiles — state controlled reserves at eleven different locations totalling 324 million barrels and privately-held reserves of petroleum held “in accordance with the Petroleum Stockpiling Law” of 129 million barrels. The Japanese SPR is run by the Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation.
China: The Chinese Strategic Petroleum Reserve consists of a government-controlled strategic reserve complemented by mandated commercial reserves. The planned state reserves of 475 million barrels plus the planned enterprise reserves of 209 million barrels are expected to provide around 90 days of consumption or a total of 684 million barrels.
European Union: In the European Union, according to Council Directive of 1968, all 27 members must have a strategic petroleum reserve within the territory of the EU equal to at least 90 days average daily internal consumption.
About SPR facilities in India
Need for Strategic Petroleum Reserve
Advantages of an Underground Storage Facility
Limitations of SPR
The dedicated strategic reserve is something that is long overdue, given India’s dependency on imported fuel to meet its needs. Oil is likely to remain a critical source of energy at least in the near future. Even the carbon footprint is much lesser with the use of oil as compared to coal. Apart from oil, India also needs to look into its gas reserves because it is the most eco-friendly source of energy among fossil fuels.
Q.“Strategic petroleum reserves are essential to address India’s growing energy insecurity.” Analyse. Also, discuss the advantages of an underground storage facility.
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