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Biden Oil Plan Hinges on 1970s Reserve With Troubled History

  • Corroded pipes, roof collapse among issues stockpile has faced
  • Watchdog found flaws with $2 billion plan to fix up reserve
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Bryan Mound Strategic Petroleum Reserve in Freeport, Texas.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Bryan Mound Strategic Petroleum Reserve in Freeport, Texas.Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg
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The Biden administration’s mammoth drawdown of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve depends on an aging network of pipelines and oil storage tanks with a problematic past. 

The reserve, the world’s largest emergency supply, was created in the aftermath of the Arab oil embargo of the early 1970s, but its distribution system was designed with a 25-year lifespan in mind and previous test sales have revealed problems that could hinder the ability to move oil quickly.