Evaluating the Proposed Test Drawdown and Sale of Strategic Petroleum Reserve Oil

by Stanley Besen, Mary Anne Doyle, Richard Y. Pei, W. H. Krase, Daniel F. Kohler


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Under the authority of the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975, the Department of Energy (DOE) maintains and operates the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). In the event of an energy emergency, the President would initiate a drawdown of the Reserve to counter the harmful economic effects of a severe shortage in oil supplies. To prepare better for an emergency, DOE has conducted several exercises to test the Reserve's administrative and operational systems. In 1984, DOE planned a test drawdown and sale of SPR oil. This exercise would, for the first time, have involved the sale of a small amount of SPR oil to the highest bidders, and would have tested simultaneously the operation of all SPR subsystems. This Note lays the groundwork for the evaluation of such a test.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Note series. The note was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1979 to 1993 that reported other outputs of sponsored research for general distribution.

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