Accession Number:



Strategic Petroleum Reserve: DOE Needs to Strengthen Its Approach to Planning the Future of the Emergency Stockpile

Descriptive Note:

[Technical Report, Congressional Report]

Corporate Author:

United States Government Accountability Office

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



More than 4 decades ago, Congress authorized the creation of the SPR to reduce the impact of disruptions in supplies of petroleum products. DOE manages the SPR. As a member of the International Energy Agency, the United States is obligated to maintain reserves equivalent to at least 90 days of the previous years net importsimports minus exports. The SPRs storage and related infrastructure is aging, and DOE has plans to modernize these facilities. Since 2015,Congress has mandated crude oil sales. As of March 2018, the SPR held about 665 million barrels of crude oil. GAO was asked to examine the SPRs ability to meet U.S. energy security needs. This report examines, among other things, the extent to which 1DOE has identified the optimal size of the SPR, and 2 DOEs plans for modernizing the SPR take into account the effects of congressionally mandated crude oil sales. GAO reviewed DOEs plans and studies, and interviewed agency officials and nine experts selected based on prior work, referrals, and a literature review.

Subject Categories:

  • Economics and Cost Analysis
  • Government and Political Science
  • Geology, Geochemistry and Mineralogy

Distribution Statement:

[A, Approved For Public Release]