U.S., allies to release 60M barrels from oil reserves
The United States and its industrial allies in the International Energy Agency announced Wednesday that they would release 60 million barrels of crude oil from reserves over the next 30 days. The news immediately sent oil prices down about five percent.
The release would be the biggest ever coordinated from strategic reserves, and over the next month it would exceed the amount of oil lost on world markets since the fighting in Libya. Half of the release would come from U.S. reserves.
The release comes just as gas consumption is rising with the summer driving season, and it could bring some relief to consumers at the pump and to economies that have been already struggling to recover from economic downturn.
It will also please many Democrats who have been urging President Obama to tap into the 727 million barrels in salt caverns in states along the Gulf of Mexico coast.
According to the Energy Department, the 30 million barrel release would be the largest ever from the U.S. strategic reserves.