US, allies discuss 60 million-barrel release from oil reserves

Crude prices shot above US$105 a barrel last week for the first time since 2014. PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (BLOOMBERG) - The United States and its allies are discussing a coordinated release of about 60 million barrels of oil from their emergency stockpiles after Russia's invasion of Ukraine pushed crude prices above US$100 (S$136), according to three people familiar with the matter.

US ally nations are said to be considering a release of about 30 million barrels, while an additional 30 million would come from the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve, according to the people, who asked not to be identified discussing non-public deliberations.

While no decisions have been made, the US has been coordinating with International Energy Agency (IEA) member nations. The US Energy Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment, and the IEA, which would typically coordinate any such release, did not respond to a request for comment.

European Union ministers will discuss on Monday coordinated release of emergency oil supplies in the framework of the IEA, the bloc's energy chief Kadri Simson said before an emergency meeting of member states.

Crude prices shot above US$105 a barrel last week for the first time since 2014 on fears that oil and gas supplies from energy giant Russia could be disrupted, either by the conflict in Ukraine or retaliatory western sanctions. The rally is exacerbating an inflationary surge for energy-consuming nations, threatening the economic recovery and worsening a cost-of-living crisis for millions.

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