Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Department of Energy Approves Request for Release of Crude from Strategic Petroleum Reserve

U.S. Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman approved a request today from Governor Sonny Perdue for additional releases from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to refineries in the Gulf Coast region.

“Today the Department approved an additional release of up to 900,000 barrels of crude oil from the SPR for two refiners that have not been able to obtain adequate supplies due to the ongoing disruptions,” Secretary Bodman wrote. “With this additional release, the total amount provided from the SPR to refineries will be approximately 5.7 million barrels since September 3, 2008.”

Governor Perdue asked for the additional releases on Monday after hearing that refineries may have excess capacity as they restart their operations.

“These crude releases will help ensure that the Southeast continues to receive consistent fuel supplies as we continue to see more stations receive fuel and lines shorten,” Governor Perdue said. “I appreciate the Administration’s quick response and their concern for the fuel shortages we have experienced.”

Out-of-state haulers

After yesterday’s announcement that the Department of Revenue will grant temporary waivers for out-of-state haulers to bring in supplies to Georgia, the state has identified new suppliers that are bringing in at least 150,000 additional gallons of fuel per day. That number could grow as additional suppliers are identified in other states that have excess capacity that they can bring to Georgia.

These supplies include both regular fuel and diesel, and will be distributed throughout the state based on identified acute shortages. Diesel will be directed to any first responders and school systems that are seeing low supplies and to the state’s major agriculture centers so that farmers continue to have a strong supply available.

The DOR temporary waiver allows out-of-state haulers that do not hold a current Georgia motor fuel license to bring supplies into Georgia as long as they apply for a Georgia license within 72 hours. These haulers would normally have to apply and be granted a license before coming into the state.

DOE Update

The Department of Energy also released an update on the recovery of fuel production in the Gulf Coast.

Power outages – Outages are now down to just 35,000 people without power in Texas. Crews are making rapid progress restoring power – about 154,000 people were reported without power on Monday.

Percent “shut-in” – The U.S. Department of Energy reports 57.1 percent of crude oil production capacity in the Gulf of Mexico is offline. This is a slight improvement from Monday, when 57.4 percent of capacity was out.

Refineries – Only one refinery remains completely shut down, and only three refineries are considered “restarting”. This is significant progress as almost all refineries are either back to normal or seeing reduced production.

These figures above come from the Department of Energy’s daily situation report. The complete report is available at: http://www.oe.netl.doe.gov/docs/2008_SitRep_21_Ike_100108_12PM.pdf .
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