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Faster Storage Tank Depreciation Contemplated

New aboveground storage tanks could be depreciated in seven years, instead of the current 15 if a proposal by Senator Frank Murkowski (R-AK) becomes law. A primary goal of the proposal is to encourage investment in petroleum product storage and distribution infrastructure.

Analysts estimate that energy transport and storage facilities need to be expanded to handle another five million barrels per day of oil alone, according to John Prokop, president of the Independent Liquid Terminals Association.

Storage tank incentives are part of a comprehensive effort to develop a national energy strategy. Called the National Energy Security Act of 2001, Sen Murkowski’s 300-page bill seeks to reduce US reliance on foreign oil to 50%. The United States currently imports 56% of its oil.

A core element in the energy bill is a provision that would permit drilling inside the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge on the north slope of Alaska. Strong opposition to this aspect of the bill came immediately from Democrats, environmental groups and lobbyists, and some Republicans.

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