Strategic Petroleum Reserve: Background, Authorities, and Considerations [May 13, 2020] [open pdf - 1MB]
From the Introduction: "The Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), the world's largest supply of emergency crude oil, has played a role in U.S. energy policy for over 40 years. The SPR's focus has evolved as conditions in the U.S. and world oil markets have changed. As created, the SPR's purpose was to 'diminish the vulnerability of the United States to the effects of a severe energy supply interruption, and provide limited protection from the short-term consequences of interruptions in supplies of petroleum products.' Additionally, as a signatory to the International Energy Program (IEP) agreement, the United States is obligated to maintain strategic petroleum stock holdings in preparation for a coordinated response during an emergency. Due to changes to the oil market over the past several years, the role of the SPR may be of congressional interest."
CRS Report for Congress, R46355
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/