The 1973-1974 oil embargo had a number of effects on the world–both short term and long term. Oil prices quadrupled by 1974, price controls were implemented in the US, and a national maximum speed limit of 55 mph was imposed.
It was definitely one of the most tumultuous times in American history.
To make sure something like this never happened again, we created a massive underground petroleum reserve in Louisiana and Texas. It’s so massive, in fact, that it’s the largest emergency petroleum supply in the world. Here’s a few facts about this massive petroleum reserve:
- With the capacity for 727 million barrels, it could theoretically supply the entire United States with oil for almost 38 days.
- The maximum total withdrawal capacity per day is only about 4.4 million barrels, so it would take 158 days for the entire inventory to get used up.
- The reserve currently has 695 million barrels. At current market prices, that’s $37.4 billion worth of oil.
- The reserve is stored at four major sites along the Gulf of Mexico.
- Almost $4 billion was spent on the facilities, and to reduce costs, much of the reserve itself is stored in underground caverns.
- On July 21, 1977, the first barrels of oil made their way to the SPR. They were 412,000 barrels of Saudi Arabian light crude in total.
Pretty cool. While America does produce most of its own oil, it’s nice to know we have a bountiful underground reserve just in case anything happens.