US-led coordination of states to release millions of barrels of oil to cool prices

The US along with China, India, South Korea, Japan and Britain announced yesterday they will release millions of barrels of oil into the market, in an attempt to drive down the high prices of late.

The move, engineered by the administration of US President Joe Biden, comes after the group of producers in the OPEC+ coalition repeatedly ignored his calls for more crude to counter prices, which recently touched seven-year highs of over US$85 per barrel.

“I told you before that we’re going to take action on these problems. That’s exactly what we’re doing,” Biden said in remarks broadcast from the White House.

“It will take time, but before long you should see the price of gas drop where you fill up your tank, and in the longer-term we will reduce our reliance on oil as we shift to clean energy,” he said.

Under the plan, the US will release 50 million barrels, the equivalent of about two and a half days of US demand. Meanwhile, India said it would release 5 million barrels and Britain would allow the voluntary release of 1.5 million barrels of oil from privately held reserves.

Japan will release ‘a few hundred thousand kilolitres’ of oil from its national reserve, but the timing of the sale has not been decided. Details on the amount and timing of the release of oil from South Korea and China were not announced.