The Department of Energy released an additional 3.5 million barrels from the nation's Strategic Petroleum Reserve on Friday in response to fuel disruptions caused by Hurricane Harvey, which tripled the amount of oil the agency released on Thursday.
The Energy Department has slated the oil to be delivered in tranches to large refineries owned by Marathon Petroleum Corporation and Valero from the reserve's Bayou Choctaw storage facility about 12 miles southwest of Baton Rouge, La.
On Thursday, the Energy Department released 1 million barrels of a mix of lighter and heavier grades of crude oil sent to a refinery owned by Phillips 66.
"Without trying to affect the market place, we are trying to be as stable as we can, making sure folks can, in fact, have access to gasoline," Energy Secretary Rick Perry told Bloomberg Television.
Perry anticipates a "two-week bump" in gasoline prices in response to the storm that made landfall a week ago today. The average gasoline price for the nation reached an annual record high on Friday at over $2.50 per gallon.