Hoping to help stabilize global oil markets, roiled due in part to the ongoing civil war in Libya, the U.S. and the International Energy Agency have agreed to release 60-million barrels of oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) onto the world market over the next 30 days.
“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," said Steven Chu, U.S. Energy Secretary, in a statement.
“As we move forward,” he added, “we will continue to monitor the situation and stand ready to take additional steps if necessary.”
The SPR – adminsteredr by the Dept. of Energy – is currently at a historically high level with 727-million barrels stockpiled, said Chu. The release is aimed at offsetting the loss of roughly 1.5-million barrels of oil per day – particularly light, sweet crude – due to the ongoing strife in Libya.
Chu added that the months of July and August are when demand is typically highest in the U.S., and as the cost of oil remains significantly higher than prior to the start of the unrest in Libya, the SPR release should help stabilize prices.