The Rotten State of U.S. Oil Reserves – Bloomberg

Bryan Mound, nestled in a 500-acre marshland south of Houston, is among the heavily guarded salt caverns on the Gulf Coast of Texas and Louisiana. There, the government keeps the national emergency oil stash, known as the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), stored more than 2,000 feet underground. The pipelines at Bryan Mound are capable of delivering 1.5 million barrels a day into the market to offset price or supply shocks if everything is in working order.That’s a big if. In May 2015 the roof on a 1970s-era storage tank at Bryan Mound collapsed. It still hasn’t been repaired, because Congress hasn’t approved the funding. Corrosion ate through a water pipe at one of the Texas sites in April. Every day, salty, humid air gnaws at the network of pipelines and pumps that crisscrosses the wetlands. Thunderstorms put extra stress on the system. Changes in the earth’s pressure alter the capacity of the caves housing the reserves. “It’s a very complex infrastructure, and when you get to a point where it’s starting to age, then you just start to see problems,” says Robert Corbin, the U.S. Department of Energy’s deputy assistant secretary for the Office of Petroleum Reserves.

Source: The Rotten State of U.S. Oil Reserves – Bloomberg

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