Environmental Engineering Reference
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be armed conflicts over oil resources. The remaining oil supplies should be
used wisely and alternative sources of energy need to be developed.
The U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) is the largest stockpile of
government-owned emergency crude oil in the world. Established after the
1973-74 oil embargo, the SPR provides the President with a response option
if a disruption in commercial oil supplies endanger the U.S. economy. It also
allows the United States to meet part of its International Energy Agency ob-
ligation to maintain emergency oil stocks, and it provides a national defense
fuel reserve. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 directs the Secretary of Energy to
fill the SPR to its authorized one billion barrel capacity.
Since the early 1900s, the Naval Petroleum Reserves program has
controlled oil bearing lands owned by the U.S. government. The program
was intended to provide U.S. naval vessels with an assured source of fuel.
The Naval Petroleum Reserves operated three major oil fields located in
California and Wyoming.
The government also held oil shale lands in Utah and Colorado that
were opened to development during the 1980s as an alternate source of
fossil fuels. In 1996 Congress authorized the divestment of several Naval
Petroleum and Oil Shale Reserves properties.
Today, the Naval Petroleum Reserves manages closeout activities for
the Elk Hills Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 1, located in California, and co-
ordinates public and private initiatives related to oil shale demonstration
and development programs from its headquarters in Washington, D.C.
For most of the 20th century, the Naval Petroleum and Oil Shale
Reserves served as a contingency source of fuel for the Nation's military.
All that changed in 1998 when Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 1, known as
Elk Hills, was privatized, the first in a series of major changes that leaves
only two of the original six federal properties in the program.
Since the early 1900s, the government-owned petroleum and oil
shale properties were envisioned as a way to provide a reserve supply of
crude oil to fuel U.S. naval vessels in times of emergencies. The Reserves
were mostly undeveloped until the 1970s, when the country began look-
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