The President of the United States, Joe Biden has said 50 million barrels of crude oil will be released from the nation’s Petroleum Reserve, in an attempt to reduce rising gasoline prices.
The United States is set to work with several other countries to coordinate releases from their reserves, including China, India, Japan and the United Kingdom.
In a statement on Tuesday, the White House said the agreement was the culmination of weeks of talks with other nations as part of Mr. Biden’s efforts to address the lack of oil supply stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The U.S. will release 50 million barrels from the SPR. Of that total, 32 million barrels will be an exchange over the next several months, while 18 million barrels will be an acceleration of a previously authorized sale.
“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 up with demand. That’s why President Biden is using every tool available to him to work to lower prices and address the lack of supply.”
Biden had previously pressured the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) alliance to pump more oil so that it would lower gas prices. However, OPEC plans to follow its plan to increase output gradually.
As part of the coordinated effort, the UK 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 recovery but “any benefit for UK drivers is likely to be limited and short in nature”.
India will release five million barrels, while South Korea, Japan and China will announce the amount and timing of their releases in due course.