The US Government is to create the nation’s first two gas reserves in the Northeast after Hurricane Sandy in late 2012 left motorists in the region without fuel.
The stockpile will be located near New York Harbor and in New England, with each location storing 500,000 barrels of gas – enough to provide short-term relief in the event of significant disruptions.
The fuel, which will be kept in space leased from existing storage facilities, is expected to be available by late summer.
Sandy left many communities flooded, without electricity and unable to get gas to power generators after two refineries and more than 40 terminals in New York Harbor were damaged by the powerful storm.
As many as 67% of the gas stations in the New York metropolitan area were not open in the days after the storm either because they had no power for their pumps or had not been able to take delivery of fuel, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimated.
Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said: “Building on lessons learned from recent extreme weather events like Superstorm Sandy, today we are announcing the establishment of a refined petroleum product reserve for the region surrounding New York Harbor and the Northern New England area to help ease the effects of potential future gasoline supply disruptions.”