August 31, 2017 / 12:12 PM / 24 days ago

US Energy Dept releases 500,000 barrels from strategic reserve

Aug 31 (Reuters) - The U.S. Energy Department will release 500,000 barrels of crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in response to Tropical Storm Harvey, the first emergency release since 2012, a spokeswoman said in a statement on Thursday.

The release will be delivered to the Phillips 66 refinery in Lake Charles, Louisiana, according to the statement. That refinery has not been affected by the storm, which has hammered the Gulf Coast for several days.

The release includes 200,000 barrels of sweet crude and 300,000 barrels of sour crude oil, according to the statement. The reserve, established in the 1970s, currently contains 679 million barrels of oil. (Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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