Lessons Learned From the 2011 Strategic Petroleum Reserve Release

September 10, 2012

Report

More on:

Fossil Fuels

Energy and Climate Policy

United States

Overview

In this Working Paper, Blake Clayton analyzes the 2011 International Energy Agency (IEA)–coordinated release of strategic petroleum reserves to shed light on the political underpinnings and market consequences of tapping these national oil stockpiles. He combines participant interviews with independent analysis to assess lessons for physical and financial markets, U.S. strategic petroleum reserve (SPR) operations, and international diplomacy. Clayton recommends that energy officials in IEA countries bear in mind market-imposed constraints when structuring future releases, tailor their cooperation with influential oil-producing and -consuming countries to evolving geopolitical realities, and address potential operational impediments to the U.S. SPR, informed by the experience of the 2011 release. Heeding these lessons, he argues, will pay dividends when the inevitable need to tap emergency oil stockpiles returns.

More on:

Fossil Fuels

Energy and Climate Policy

United States

Top Stories on CFR

 

NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization)

The war in Ukraine marks a new era of instability in Europe. Countering Russia’s efforts will require a stronger, more coordinated NATO.

China

After the rise of Chinese power during the 2010s and failed U.S. policies in the Indo-Pacific, the United States should renew the Pivot to Asia and place the region at the center of its grand strategy.*