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ExxonMobil's Boss on Energy Security

Q: What are the implications of increasingly higher U.S. import levels of crude?

A: The prospect of higher import levels continues to raise concerns about security of supply. In our view, the key to security will be found in diversity of supply. Import independence is not realistic in most cases, and it's certainly not necessary if supply risks are managed effectively. Governments can do much to help this effort by promoting diversity through access to resource acreage in all regions.

Q: What role does the U.S.'s Strategic Petroleum Reserves play in energy security? [The U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve, established in 1977 following the Arab oil embargo, holds 600 million barrels of crude oil, about 30 days of U.S. demand.]

A: Government-funded strategic energy reserves are appropriate as a shield against serious harm in the potential event of a severe and sustained supply disruption. But let me be clear: The use -- or threat of use -- of strategic reserves as a convenient instrument to merely affect short-term energy prices is not the purpose [of strategic energy reserves].


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