Biden: Release up to 1 million barrels per day of oil reserves to tame gas prices


Biden: Release up to 1 million barrels per day of oil reserves to tame gas prices

Oil prices fell sharply after reports that the United States is preparing to take new steps to reduce high fuel costs.

The Biden administration is reportedly considering releasing up to 180 million barrels of oil in the coming months from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

If confirmed, it will be the most significant release ever since the reserve was created in 1974.

The war in Ukraine has rocked global energy markets in recent weeks over fears of supply disruptions.

In afternoon trade in Asia, US West Texas Intermediate crude was down 5.4% at $102 a barrel, while Brent crude was 4.6% at around $108.

High fuel costs have become a major political issue in the United States ahead of the November midterm elections.

Without giving further details, the White House said Biden would deliver remarks at 13:30 local time (17:30 GMT) on Thursday on his administration's "measures to limit the impact of [Russian President Vladimir] Putin's hike in energy prices. Gas prices and lowering Gas prices at the pumps for American families.

News of a potentially significant release of oil by the United States came as the (OPEC) and its allies, including Russia, met on Thursday.

The group of major oil-producing countries, known as OPEC+, is expected to stick to its current agreement to increase production gradually.

The cost of oil has jumped in recent weeks, with Brent crude reaching $139 a barrel earlier this month after the Russian invasion of Ukraine and sanctions imposed by the United States and its allies on Moscow.

Energy prices have fallen again since then, but Brent crude is still nearly 70% higher than a year ago.

Can the world adapt without Russian oil and gas?

Global energy supplies have been shrinking for months as economies begin to reopen as pandemic lockdown measures are eased.

Most other major energy-producing nations are either at total capacity or are unwilling to ramp up production.

The United States, the world's largest oil producer, pumps 11.7 million barrels of oil per day, but this is not enough to meet global demand.

Meanwhile, the International Energy Agency called an emergency meeting on Friday.

It is unclear whether the other member states of the International Energy Agency - About 29 countries: The United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Japan - will follow the US by releasing oil reserves.

Also, on Thursday, Japan said it would take emergency measures to secure supplies of seven strategic items it relies heavily on from Russia or Ukraine as war and sanctions have disrupted supplies.

The country's industry minister said the measures include government support to boost local production and alternative purchases and help with technological developments to reduce materials, including liquefied natural gas and gases used to make computer chips.

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