The US Department of Energy (DOE) and the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) are just two of the International Energy Agency members that have decided to release oil stocks to the market. A total of 60 million bbls of oil will be made available for purchase over the next 30 days, with the UK contributing 3 million bbls and the US contributing 30 million bbls. The US currently has a historically high strategic petroleum reserve (SPR) of 727 million bbls.
This release will prevent short term supply disruptions leading to volatile oil prices that could damage the economy and threaten global economic recovery.
Statement from Chris Huhne, Secretary of State for UK DECC
‘This coordinated global action shows that both producer and consumer nations around the world are taking decisive steps to ensure enough oil is available. That’s why we strongly welcome Saudi Energy Minister Al-Naimi’s statement earlier this month that Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries will increase oil production to supply whatever the market needs.’
Statement from George Osborne, UK Chancellor of the Exchequer
‘I know that British families have been hit hard by the big jump in the world’s oil price. Events in the Middle East and North Africa have disrupted supply and contributed to the price spike. So we’ve been working closely with our international partners to take action with today’s release of oil stocks. It comes on top of the cut in fuel duty in the budget, which means petrol is 6p a litre cheaper than it would otherwise have been.’
Statement from US DOE Secretary, Steven Chu
‘We are taking this action in response to the ongoing loss of crude oil due to supply disruptions in Libya and other countries and their impact on the global economic recovery. As we move forward, we will continue to monitor the situation and stand ready to take additional steps if necessary.’
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