US to release oil reserves in attempt to lower prices

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The US has said it is releasing 50 million barrels of oil from its reserves an attempt to bring down the soaring energy and petrol prices.

The move is being taken parallel with other major oil-consuming nations, including China, India, Japan, South Korea and the UK.

The President of the United States of America, Joe Biden, has repeatedly asked the Opec group of oil-producing nations to output more rapidly, BBC reports.

But Opec has stuck to an agreement to only increase production gradually.
It says it is concerned that a resurgence of coronavirus cases could drive down demand, as happened at the height of the pandemic.

Crude oil prices recently touched seven-year highs, amid a sharp uptick global demand as economies recover from the coronavirus crisis. It’s driven petrol prices and energy bills in many countries.

In a statement, the White House said, “American consumers are feeling the impact of elevated gas prices at the pump and in their home heating bills, and American businesses are, too, because oil supply has not kept with demand.

That’s why President is using every tool available to him to work to lower prices and address the lack of supply.”

As part of the coordinated effort, the government will allow firms to voluntarily release 1.5 million barrels of oil from privately-held reserves.

It said the action would support the global economic but “any benefit for drivers is likely to be limited and short in nature”.

Also, India will release five million barrels, while South Korea, Japan and China will announce the amount and timing of their releases in due course.