3.17 million barrels of oil to be released from strategic reserves
The amount to be released is roughly 3.3 percent of reserves.
Released reserves will be supplied to local refiners from January to March, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said Thursday.
Among the reserves to be released, 2.08 million barrels will be lent to local refiners for a one-year period. The remaining 1.09 million barrels, which is to be used to produce petroleum goods, including kerosene and propane, will be made available through a bidding process.
Korea National Oil Corp. will be in charge of the distribution and will manage the bidding process.
Last month, the Korean government responded to U.S. President Joe Biden's request to release strategic oil reserves.
Other countries including Japan, India and China have complied.
The latest release of Korea's strategic reserves is the first since 2011, when roughly 3.47 million barrels were added to the market during an oil-supply crisis caused by the Libyan civil war.
The Korean government has a stockpile of 97 million barrels, which could sustain the country without outside supply for 100 days. When including reserves in the private sector, the total is about 200 million barrels, which would last roughly 200 days.
BY LEE HO-JEONG [firstname.lastname@example.org]
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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