U.S. Energy Secretary approves release of another 3.5M barrels from oil reserve

Oil barrels in Colorado FBN

The U.S. Energy Secretary has approved up to 4.5 million barrels of crude oil to be released from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in response to the impact from Tropical Storm Harvey, a spokeswoman for the Department of Energy said on Friday.

That marks an additional 3.5 million barrels on top of the 1 million barrels of oil approved as of Thursday.

"In response to the impacts from Hurricane Harvey, the U.S. Secretary of Energy has authorized the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to negotiate and execute emergency exchange agreements for up to 4.5 million barrels of crude oil from SPR's West Hackberry and Bayou Choctaw sites," Jess Szymanski, a Department of Energy spokeswoman, said via email.

(Reporting by Valerie Volcovici in Washington DC; Writing by Devika Krishna Kumar in New York; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)