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Korea to release oil to help cope with Hurricane

Korea to release oil to help cope with Hurricane Katrina

South Korea has decided to release a total of 2.88 million barrels of oil from its strategic reserve in line with the International Energy Agency's (IEA's) decision to release emergency oil reserves to cope with the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina.

The Paris-based IEA said last Friday that the 26-member industrialized oil-importing countries unanimously backed a decision to release a combined two million barrels per day from their strategic stocks of refined oil for an initial period of 30 days.

The Korean Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy (MOCIE) said on Saturday (Sept. 3) that it decided to discharge 96,000 barrels of the national oil reserve a day over the 30-day period following a warning by the IEA that the oil crisis in the United States caused by Hurricane Katrina may trigger an international oil supply-demand crisis.

MOCIE said that it agreed to the IEA's request to release its strategic oil reserve as the amount of oil demanded, equivalent to 4.3 percent of the national strategic oil reserve, was too small to prompt an oil supply-demand in Korea.

Korea has a stockpile of 74.65 million barrels of oil, including both crude and refined oil, as of the end of July. This is the second time for Korea to release its oil reserve. The first release followed the 1990 Gulf War.

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