US Releases 500,000 Barrels Of Oil From Strategic Reserve As Largest US Refinery May Be Shut For 2 Weeks

Thursday, August 31, 2017
By Paul Martin

by Tyler Durden
Aug 31, 2017

The U.S. Energy Department announced on Thursday that it would release 500,000 barrels of crude oil from the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve as a result of the disruption to the US petroleum industry following Hurricane Harvey amid fears of a surge in motor fuel prices, which have been compounded by the previously reported shuttering of the Colonial pipeline. According to the DOE statement, the oil will be delivered to the Phillips 66 refinery in Lake Charles, Louisiana, a plant which has not been affected by the storm.

According to Reuters, the release – the first emergency release from the reserve since 2012 – will include 200,000 barrels of sweet crude and 300,000 barrels of sour crude oil. It was an exchange agreement, meaning the government will loan crude to Phillips 66, which is required to replace the reserve’s oil at a later date.

The Energy Department “will continue to provide assistance as deemed necessary, and will continue to review incoming requests for SPR crude oil,” spokeswoman Jess Szymanski said.

The reserve, a legacy from the 1970s Arab oil embargo which caused panic over fuel supply, currently contains 679 million barrels of oil. It is a small release of crude for a country that uses nearly 20 million barrels of petroleum daily.

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