The United States said on Tuesday it would release millions of barrels of oil from strategic reserves in coordination with China, India, South Korea, Japan and Britain to cool prices after OPEC+ producers repeatedly ignored calls for more crude.
U.S. President Joe Biden has repeatedly asked the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, known as OPEC+, to pump more oil. However, OPEC+ has rebuffed requests to pump more at its monthly meetings.
It meets again on Dec. 2 to discuss policy but has so far shown no indication to concede to U.S demand.
Tuesday’s announcement that the U.S. would release 50 million barrels was made after an official said Washington had approached major Asian energy consumers to help to drive down oil prices from near three-year highs.
The release from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve would be in a loan and a sale to companies, a senior U.S. administration official told reporters.
“We will continue talking to international partners on this issue. The president stands ready to take additional action if needed, and is prepared to use his full authorities working in coordination with the rest of the world,” he said.
India said in a statement it would release 5 million barrels. South Korea said it had agreed to participate but did not give volumes. Japanese media said Tokyo would announce its plans on Wednesday.
Britain had no immediate comment.
Global benchmark Brent crude was trading around $80 a barrel on Tuesday, above where it was trading before the announcement but well off last month’s three-year high of more than $86.