US President orders ‘unprecedented’ release of oil reserves

Washington – United States President Joe Biden has ordered a major release of oil from America’s reserves in an effort to bring down high fuel costs.

The release of up to 180m barrels of oil over six months is the largest since the reserve was created in 1974.

Oil prices dropped on reports of the move, which is aimed at easing a supply crunch sparked by war in Ukraine.

But the release – of about 1m barrels a day – is unlikely to fully resolve the energy crisis, analysts say.

Biden promised further action to boost US output, saying the release would “serve as [a] bridge until the end of the year when domestic production ramps up”.

He called for companies to pay extra if they choose not to use oil wells on land they lease from the government, as well as investments to speed up the adoption of greener energy sources.

Following Biden’s remarks, US oil benchmark West Texas Intermediate was more than seven per cent lower at about $100 a barrel, while Brent Crude fell roughly 5.4 per cent to around $107.

The soaring cost of fuel has become a major political issue around the world, including in the US, which hosts mid-term elections in November.

Biden said the scale of the release from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve – which together amounts to less than two days of global consumption – was “unprecedented”. (BBC)

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