Marathon Petroleum Corp. will borrow 1 million barrels of sweet crude oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve to resolve short-term supply impacts from Hurricane Isaac, the Energy Department said.
The loan differs from a release from the strategic inventories, a step Obama administration officials have said is being considered as gasoline prices rise amid shutdowns of production platforms and refineries.
The Energy Department has used its authority to provide loans of crude eight times, most recently after Hurricane Gustav raked the Gulf of Mexico coast in September 2008, the Energy Department said in the e-mailed statement today.
“This emergency loan from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve will help ensure Marathon’s refining operations have the crude oil they need to continue operating,” Energy Secretary Steven Chu said in the statement.
Marathon requested the loan after Isaac, which made landfall in Louisiana on Aug. 28, disrupted its supply of crude. Under agreement with the U.S., Marathon will return the oil, along with additional barrels, within three months, according to the statement.
Isaac shut down 13 percent of Gulf coast refining capacity this week.