"The SPR [Strategic Petroleum Reserve] was authorized in late 1975 in the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) to protect the Nation against a repetition of the economic dislocation caused by the 1973-74 oil embargo. Congressional attention to the SPR declined during the 1990s as a number of developments intersected: (1) the need to cut federal spending; (2) declining likelihood of prolonged and crippling oil supply interruptions; (3) unregulated oil markets that appear to operate efficiently in allocating and pricing oil; (4) a consensus that the SPR was probably at an adequate level and additional fill was not justified. In early 1994, the Administration and Congress agreed to suspend further purchases for the SPR. Maintaining SPR readiness and upgrading aging infrastructure became the major priority. […] In the interim, the President approved two exchanges of crude in June 2000, authorized establishment of an interim regional 2 million barrel home heating oil reserve, and in October 2000, approved a swap of 30 million barrels from the Reserve. Bidders will return 33.54 million barrels to the SPR. S.Amdt. 2917 to comprehensive energy legislation being debated in the Senate, S. 517, would permanently authorize the SPR and require fill to its current capacity of approximately 700 million barrels. The FY2003 budget request for the SPR is for $188.8 million. This represents an increase of $9.8 million from the appropriation for FY2002. The total request includes $169.8 million operations and management of the SPR sites. An additional $11.0 million is being sought to support the costs of transporting royalty-in-kind (RIK) oil to SPR sites."
CRS Issue Brief for Congress, IB87050