Senator Dodd: WILL Y2K BRING BACK THE GAS LINES?greenspun.com : LUSENET : Millennium Salons : One Thread
STATEMENT OF SENATOR CHRISOPHER J. DODD
HEARING ON YEAR 2000 AND OIL IMPORTS:
WILL Y2K BRING BACK THE GAS LINES?
April 22, 1999
Mr. Chairman, thank you for holding this hearing today.
The world oil supply faces a series of Y2K risks from the well in the ground to the gas station in your neighborhood. In addition to the immediate Y2K problems that oil companies face, the readiness of the shipping industry and international ports presents an even more difficult challenge. A breakdown in the international shipping industry could have a crippling effect on the oil industry. More than 80,000 visits are made to U.S. ports by over 7,000 foreign vessels in any given year. And yet we have little information on the readiness of these ships and foreign ports.
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-- Bill (email@example.com), April 23, 1999
Subject: Business News from Wired News-Stockpile Oil for y2k
US: Stockpile Oil for Y2K (Reuters- 22.Apr.99)
WASHINGTON -- Homeowners should fill their heating-oil tanks sometime before New Year's Day, just in case computer problems disrupt petroleum supplies, a US government energy official said on Thursday. Robert Kripowicz, deputy assistant for fossil fuels at the Department of Energy, told a Senate committee that he was cautiously optimistic there won't be any disruptions in the nation's oil supplies because of the millennium bug. Still, he said households and businesses ought to have a backup fuel plan, just in case.
"While we see no cause for panic or alarm at this point, consumers who are dependent on oil should always be prudent in planning for their heating requirements, and should not wait until the last minute to fill their home heating oil tanks," Kripowicz said.
"Similarly, power generators and large industrial consumers may want to purchase some additional [petroleum] inventory well in advance of the year-end as a contingency or hedge against prices," he added. However, a US Coast Guard official testifying at the Senate hearing said the public should be cautioned not to hoard petroleum products or fill tanks a day or two before New Year's Day, because that could disrupt energy supplies.
"We understand that that act alone, repeated nationwide, could lead to shortages," said Rear Admiral George Naccara. He said the Coast Guard was assessing the computer readiness of 50 key international ports. The American Petroleum Institute said a survey of 1,000 oil and natural gas companies showed that 94 percent will have their computers upgraded by 30 September.
"The oil and gas industry is working intensively to prepare for the year 2000 and feels it will be ready to supply our customers at that time," API president Red Cavaney told the committee. Kripowicz said while American oil companies were addressing their computer problems, it was unclear how well foreign oil companies -- or the infrastructure on which they depend, such as electric power, telecommunications, ports, and shipping -- were prepared. "A failure of any of these systems could affect the oil industry's ability to operate," he warned.
The United States depended on foreign oil imports last year for 56 percent of its petroleum supply, according to the Energy Department. Kripowicz said the four largest suppliers of imported oil to the United States -- Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Mexico, and Canada -- were converting their computer systems and expect their petroleum industries to be fully prepared by the end of the year. If there are disruptions in US oil supplies, however, Kripowicz said the DOE is prepared to sell oil from the nation's strategic petroleum reserve in order to "calm the market." The reserve, stored in underground salt caverns in Texas and Louisiana, carries 561 million barrels of oil that could be removed at a rate of 4.1 million barrels per day, he said. Copyright) 1999 Reuters Limited
-- Bill (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 23, 1999.
"DOE is prepared to sell oil from the nation's strategic petroleum reserve in order to "calm the market." The reserve, stored in underground salt caverns in Texas and Louisiana, carries 561 million barrels of oil that could be removed at a rate of 4.1 million barrels per day"
That amount is insignificant when arrayed against our daily national consumption.
Sounds to me just like more spin. Following the Yardeni scenario citing the 70's oil shortages as an example of y2k potential. They might as well throw in hurricane prep to cover all bases.
-- Mitchell Barnes (email@example.com), April 24, 1999.