In the event of a commercial supply disruption, the United States can turn to the emergency stockpiles of petroleum products managed by the Department of Energy's Office of Petroleum Reserves (OPR). The mission of the OPR is to protect the United States from severe petroleum supply interruptions through the acquisition, storage, distribution and management of emergency petroleum stocks and to carry out U.S. obligations under the International Energy Program. The OPR manages three stockpiles: the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, the Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve, and the Northeast Gasoline Supply Reserve. OPR also manages the Naval Petroleum and Oil Shale Reserves.
Strategic Petroleum Reserve
With a capacity of 713.5 million barrels, the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve is the largest stockpile of government-owned emergency crude oil in the world. Established in the aftermath of the 1973-74 oil embargo, the SPR provides the President with a powerful response option should a disruption in commercial oil supplies threaten the U.S. economy. It is also the critical component for the United States to meet
its International Energy Agency obligation to maintain emergency oil stocks, and provides a national defense fuel reserve.
The Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve is a one million barrel supply of ultra low sulfur distillate (diesel) for homes and businesses in the northeastern United States, a region heavily dependent upon the use of heating oil.
The Northeast Gasoline Supply Reserve is a one million barrel supply of seasonally adjusted, regionally appropriate supply of gasoline for consumers in the northeastern United States.
While three of the four original Petroleum Reserves (NPR-1, NPR-2, and NPR-4) and the three Oil Shale Reserves had been sold or transferred to the Department of the Interior, the remaining oil reserve was managed by the Department of Energy. The Teapot Dome field (NPR-3) in Casper, Wyoming, a stripper field, served as the Rocky Mountain Oilfield Testing Center. In 2013, the Secretary of Energy reported to Congress the Department's intent to sell all right, title and interest in NPR-3 through a public competitive bid process. The sale was finalized January 30, 2015.