Strategic Petroleum Reserves: Billion Dollar Project to Provide Energy Security for U.S., Part 1 and 2

by Ann E. Seltz-Petrash, Asst. Editor; CIVIL ENGINEERING—ASCE, New York, N.Y.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1980, Vol. 50, Issue 8, Pg. 41-47

Document Type: Feature article


The Strategic Petroleum Reserve, created in 1975, is intended to provide security to the U.S. by storing 750 million barrels of crude oil in salt domes in Louisiana and Texas. Since 1976, 248 million barrels of storage have been created and withdrawal and distribution facilities built, and 91.7 million barrels of crude are in storage. Part 1 is an overview of engineering and construction highlights on this fast-track project. For example: how to store 75 million barrels of oil in an old salt mine while a new salt mine operates a few hundred feet away. Part 2: Mired Management Delays Oil Reserves, explores project problems that resulted from confused management and an unclear perception of the magnitude of the project. Some of the problems include: substantial cost overruns, permitting problems, and schedule delays so serious that only one-half the projected storage capacity has been built.

Subject Headings: Salts | Petroleum | Security | Mines and mining | Project delay | Domes (structure) | Storage facilities | Fast track construction | United States | Louisiana | Texas

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