US President Joe Biden assured today that more than 30 countries will follow the US and draw on its strategic oil reserves in an attempt to lower prices in a market shaken by the war in Ukraine.
“This morning, more than 30 countries from around the world were called to an extraordinary meeting and agreed to release tens of millions of additional barrels of oil to the market,” Biden said in a message to the White House.
The Democratic president announced on Thursday that for six months he would release 1 million barrels a day from the United States’ immense strategic oil reserves.
The audacious move, by far the biggest use of strategic reserves since the country was willing to hold them in 1975, aims to cool the overheated global oil market and reduce the wave of inflation rippling through the US economy.
Biden pointed out that rising fuel costs for Americans are the result of spikes in oil prices on world markets, brought on by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the sanctions by Western countries that followed it. Russia is the world’s second largest exporter of oil, after Saudi Arabia.
On March 7, oil reached its all-time high since the 2008 financial crisis. North Sea Brent hit $139.13 a barrel and US WTI hit $130.50.
Since then, prices have dropped. Crude oil stabilized on Friday, briefly dropping below $100 a barrel.
* With AFP