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31 nations agree to release 60 million barrels of oil reserves in message to Russia

A view of a pump jack operating in an oil field in Midland, Texas, on July 29, 2020. (Tony Gutierrez/AP)
A view of a pump jack operating in an oil field in Midland, Texas, on July 29, 2020. (Tony Gutierrez/AP)

All 31 countries that are members of the International Energy Agency agree to release 60 million barrels of oil from their strategic reserves “to send a strong message to oil markets” that there will be “no shortfall in supplies” as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the group says.

The IEA board makes the decision at an extraordinary meeting of energy ministers chaired by US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm. Besides the United States, other members of the organization include Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Japan and Canada.

IEA members hold emergency stockpiles of 1.5 billion barrels of oil. The release amounts to 4% of stockpiles, or roughly 2 million barrels per day for 30 days.

“The situation in energy markets is very serious and demands our full attention,” IEA executive director Fatih Birol says. “Global energy security is under threat, putting the world economy at risk during a fragile stage of the recovery.”

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