'The Strategic Petroleum Reserve,' Statement of Phillip Brown Specialist in Energy Policy Before Committee on Energy and Natural Resources U.S. Senate [October 17, 2019] [open pdf - 648KB]
From the Document: "In response to the 1973 Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC) embargo on oil shipments to the United States, an event that contributed to rapidly escalating oil prices and petroleum product scarcity, the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA, P.L. 94-163) was enacted in December 1975. EPCA authorized the creation of the SPR [Strategic Petroleum Reserve] to hold reserves of up to 1 billion barrels of petroleum products, among other provisions. [...] With relatively little SPR utilization in response to emergency global supply disruptions (for example, in response to instability and oil supply disruptions in Libya in 2011); limited, although more frequent, oil exchanges in response to domestic supply disruptions due to hurricanes and other circumstances (most recently in 2017 after Hurricane Harvey); and decreasing U.S. net petroleum (crude oil and products) imports, Congress has recently enacted legislation that requires SPR oil to be sold in order to fund other legislative priorities."
CRS Testimony, TE10040
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/