December 7, 2006 at 11:37 PM CST - Updated July 27 at 3:22 PM
It's official. The Department of Energy formally announced that the Richton salt dome site is the preferred location to expand the nation's Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman says Richton is less vulnerable to hurricanes and will be connected by pipeline to refineries and marine facilities in Pascagoula for distribution. The reserve would hold about 16% of the one billion barrels of oil government officials want to store underground for use in an emergency. The Richton site is located on 1500 acres off of Highway 42. Construction time is expected at 9-10 years... could cost a billion dollars and employ 1000 workers.