September 1, 2017 / 9:26 PM / 21 days ago

FACTBOX-U.S. oil releases from emergency reserves

    WASHINGTON, Sept 1 (Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Energy said on Friday
it would lend additional oil of up to 3.5 million barrels from the nation's
emergency crude reserve to two energy companies along the Gulf Coast after
Hurricane Harvey shut about a quarter of the country's refining industry.
    The release came in addition to an exchange of 1 million barrels on
Thursday.
    The U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), a series of underground caverns
in Louisiana and Texas operated by the Department of Energy, holds 678.9 million
barrels of crude, enough to meet total U.S. needs for 33 days.
    The United States also has a gasoline reserve, created after Hurricane Sandy
in 2012. The Northeast Gasoline Supply Reserve holds about 1 million barrels,
stored in New York Harbor, Boston and Maine. 
    The International Energy Agency's 29 member countries also store petroleum,
which can be made available in case of a supply disruption. The Paris-based
organization advises Western governments on energy policy.
    Releases from reserves can help avoid or moderate any price spikes by
bolstering supply that would otherwise be interrupted.
    The U.S. president can call for an emergency drawdown from the SPR if the
country is confronted with an economically threatening supply disruption. That
was the case after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which shuttered major U.S. oil
producers and refiners.
    The SPR can also release oil in an exchange agreement, in which it lends
crude to a company, which later replaces it and supplies the reserve with
premium barrels as a form of interest.
    The table below lists key releases from stockpiles.     
    
 Agency         Release     Event       Details 
                Date                    
 IEA            Sept. 2005  Hurricane   IEA made 2 million bpd of
                            Katrina     oil available for 30 days
 SPR            Aug. 2017   Tropical    SPR loaned up to 4.5 million
                            Storm       barrels of oil to three
                            Harvey      companies: 3 million bbls to
                                        Marathon Petroleum Corp, 1
                                        million to Phillips 66, and
                                        500,000 to Valero 
 SPR            Aug. 2012   Hurricane   SPR loaned 1 million barrels
                            Isaac       of crude to Marathon
                                        Petroleum Corp 
 SPR            Sept. 2008  Hurricanes  SPR delivered 5,389,000
                            Gustav &    barrels of crude to five
                            Ike         companies whose normal
                                        supplies had been
                                        interrupted to the point
                                        that they could not continue
                                        to operate, refine the crude
                                        oil into products, and
                                        deliver those products to
                                        U.S. consumers
 SPR             June 2006  Calcasieu   SPR loaned 750,000 barrels
                            Ship        of crude to refiners unable
                            Channel     to receive deliveries while
                            closure     the ship channel was closed
 SPR            Sept. 2005  Hurricane   SPR loaned 9.8 million
                            Katrina     barrels to U.S. refiners
 
 (Reporting by Timothy Gardner; Editing by James Dalgleish)
  

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