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Tuesday, December 7, 2021
Alternative Investments

China joins other nations in tapping emergency oil reserves

oil reserves

The coordinated attempt to reduce prices follows a decision by OPEC+ to ignore calls to accelerate the pace at which the group is restoring supplies cut at the peak of the pandemic

China confirmed on Wednesday that it would join the US and other major energy-consuming nations in releasing strategic oil reserves to try to cool high prices and tame inflation.

The White House announced Tuesday that the United States would release about 50 million barrels from its Strategic Petroleum Reserve, and that China, Japan, India, South Korea and the United Kingdom would participate in the coordinated move.

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), which monitors global oil supplies on behalf of the world’s leading economies, there have been three coordinated stock releases since the agency was founded: before the Gulf War in 1991, after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita damaged oil facilities in the Gulf of Mexico in 2005, and in response to supply disruption caused by war in Libya in 2011.

We recognize that the rise in oil prices is placing a burden on consumers and has added to inflationary pressures during a period when the economic recovery remains uneven and faces a range of risks, the IEA said in a statement. The agency was not involved in the US-led initiative.

The coordinated attempt to reduce prices follows a decision by OPEC+ to ignore calls to accelerate the pace at which the group is restoring supplies cut at the peak of the pandemic.

Key details of the market intervention remain unclear, including the precise amounts that some major countries will contribute.

China will arrange the release of state crude oil reserves in light of the situation and needs and take other necessary measures to maintain the stability of the oil market, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said at a briefing on Wednesday.

China has long attached great importance to the stability of the international oil market, and we stand ready to maintain communication with relevant parties on maintaining market balance and long term stability, he added.

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