U.S. says it is discussing further coordinated oil release with allies

The United States and its allies are discussing a possible further coordinated release of oil from storage to help calm oil markets in the wake of Russia‘s invasion of Ukraine, U.S. energy secretary Jennifer Granholm said on Thursday.

“With respect to the emergency stockpiles, these are ongoing discussions and all those tools are certainly on the table,” Granholm told reporters at a news conference at the headquarters of the International Energy Agency in Paris.

IEA member states agreed to release over 60 million barrels of oil reserves earlier this month in a bid to cool rising prices which have hit the cost of living and spurred inflation.

Brent crude oil prices traded around $120 a barrel on Thursday, well above the $105 price on the day of the last release.

Speaking alongside Granholm, IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said the earlier release constituted just 4% of the total storage of its member countries, which includes 31 mostly industrialised countries but not Russia.

Birol said IEA countries were united in seeking to radically reduce Russian oil and gas imports, describing a demand by Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday that “unfriendly” countries pay for natural gas in roubles as a “security threat”.

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