IEA to release 60 million barrels of oil amid war

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The 31 member countries of the International Energy Agency (IEA) agreed Tuesday to release a total of 60 million barrels from emergency oil reserves to stabilize markets after the Russian military operation of Ukraine…reports Asian Lite News

The IEA board made the decision at an extraordinary meeting of energy ministers chaired by US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm. Besides the United States, other members of the organization include Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Japan and Canada.

Half of the agreed release will come from the United States, the US Department of Energy said after the extraordinary meeting. “In line with this decision, President Biden authorized me to make an initial commitment on behalf of the United States of 30 million barrels of oil to be released from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. We stand prepared to take additional measures if conditions warrant,” Granholm said.

The 60 million barrels agreed represent 4% of the 1.5 billion barrels of emergency stockpiles held by IEA members, the agency said, and is equivalent to 2 million barrels a day for 30 days.

IEA executive director Fatih Birol said the current situation in energy markets is “very serious and demands our full attention.”

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“Global energy security is under threat, putting the world economy at risk during a fragile stage of the recovery,” Birol added in a statement, which said member states would consider tapping stocks further as needed.

Meanwhile, Japanese Industry Minister Koichi Hagiuda said that the precise share of member countries in the release would be determined in coming days.

The decision came as oil prices soared Tuesday, with US benchmark crude surpassing $100 per barrel for its highest price since 2014. The conflict in Ukraine has shaken markets globally and added to worries about economic growth in the face of rising inflation and plans from central banks to raise interest rates.