Washington, Apr 1 (EFE).- President Joe Biden celebrated Friday’s decision by the 31 member International Energy Agency (IEA) to join the United States in releasing oil from strategic reserves to hold down price hikes resulting from the loss of supply due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“This morning, over 30 countries from across the world convened an extraordinary meeting and agreed to the release of tens of millions of additional barrels of oil onto the market,” Biden told reporters at the White House.
“Nations are coming together to deny Putin the ability to weaponize his energy resources against American families – not only American families, but families in Europe and around the world,” he said.
In a statement that followed Biden’s remarks, the IEA announced that members planned to release additional oil from emergency reserves as “the prospect of large-scale disruptions to Russian oil production is threatening to create a global oil supply shock.”
The exact amounts to be released and other details will be forthcoming next week, the IEA said.
On Thursday, Biden ordered the release of 1 million barrels per day of government oil reserves over the next six months, a record drawdown aimed at lowering gasoline prices, currently more than $4 a gallon in the US and even higher on the West Coast.
The plan will add 180 million barrels, but the impact may be limited considering the amount being released is only sufficient to cover 1 percent of global demand.
By way of comparison, Russia’s oil exports have fallen by around 3 million bpd due to sanctions by the US and its allies.
The price of West Texas Intermediate, the US benchmark crude, was $98.95 a barrel at the start of trading Friday, down 1.3 percent from the previous day’s close. EFE bpm/dr