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The Strategic Petroleum Reserve

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The Strategic Petroleum Reserve

U.S.

The Strategic Petroleum Reserve

The Strategic Petroleum Reserve

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In 1975, President Gerald Ford signed legislation creating the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. It's capable of holding up to one billion barrels of oil as an insurance policy against future supply disruptions. The reserve was created after the 1973 oil embargo, when Arab countries stopped oil exports to protest U.S. support for Israel.

STEVE INSKEEP, Host:

Now, here are some facts on that Strategic Petroleum Reserve. It was created after the 1973 oil embargo. Arab countries stopped petroleum exports to protest U.S. support for Israel. And the reserve was designed to respond to serious supply disruptions like that one. It has about 700 million barrels of oil in storage, which is a lot but not limitless. If it was the only source of oil in the entire world, it would be used up in a few days.

The oil is stored in salt caverns on the Texas and Louisiana coast. And many of those underground caverns are so big you could shove Chicago's Sears Tower inside with room to spare.

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