UNITED STATES NEWS

Nations agree to release 60M barrels of oil amid Russian war

Mar 1, 2022, 6:00 PM | Updated: Mar 2, 2022, 3:01 am
FILE - A pumping unit sucks oil from the ground near Greensburg, Kan. on March 6, 2012. The Interna...

FILE - A pumping unit sucks oil from the ground near Greensburg, Kan. on March 6, 2012. The International Energy Agency says all 31 member countries have agreed 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 IEA board made the decision Tuesday, march 1, 2022 at an extraordinary meeting of energy ministers chaired by U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The International Energy Agency’s 31 member countries agreed Tuesday to release 60 million barrels of oil from their strategic reserves — half of that from the United States — “to send a strong message to oil markets” that supplies won’t fall short after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The board of the Paris-based IEA made the decision at an extraordinary meeting of energy ministers chaired by U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm. She said in a statement that U.S. President Joe Biden approved a commitment of 30 million barrels and that the U.S. is ready to “take additional measures” if needed.

The group’s “decision reflects our common commitment to address significant market and supply disruptions related to President Putin’s war on Ukraine,” Granholm said.

Russia plays an outsized role in global energy markets as the third-largest oil producer. Its exports of 5 million barrels of crude per day amount to about 12% of the global oil trade. Some 60% goes to Europe and another 20% to China.

So far, U.S. and European sanctions have not barred oil or gas exports and have included exceptions for transactions to pay for oil and gas. Western leaders are reluctant to restrict Russian oil exports at a time when global energy markets are tight and high prices are fueling inflation in developed economies.

But the invasion has still shaken markets worldwide. On Tuesday, oil prices soared, with U.S. benchmark crude surpassing $106 per barrel — the highest price since 2014.

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

Last month, the IEA said global demand for oil was 100.2 million barrels a day in the fourth quarter of 2021. Demand is expected to grow to an average of 100.6 million barrels a day this year, as restrictions to limit the spread of COVID-19 are eased, the IEA said.

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.

It’s only the fourth time in history that the IEA has done a coordinated drawdown since the reserves were established in the wake of the Arab oil embargo in 1974.

From the U.S. perspective, the price of crude oil determines a big portion of what drivers pay to fill up their cars with gasoline. The national average for a gallon of gas is $3.61, which is 26 cents more than a month ago and 90 cents more than a year ago, according to motor club federation AAA.

In 2021, the U.S. imported roughly 245 million barrels of crude oil and petroleum products from Russia — a one-year increase of 24% over 2020. Nearly 8% of U.S. imports of crude oil and petroleum products that year came from Russia, based on data from the statistical arm of the U.S. Energy Department.

In November, Biden announced a release of 50 million barrels of oil in coordination with other energy-importing countries, but the measure had only a fleeting impact on oil prices, which have continued to rise.

Stewart Glickman, an oil analyst for CFRA Research, said the latest release from the SPR would only be partially helpful, because most of the reserves are light oil, while the U.S. largely imports a heavier grade of oil from Russia.

“Refiners plan around a certain blend of crudes, so you can’t always just swap out one for another easily,” he said.

Granholm stressed the need to invest in renewable energy as a way to reduce dependence on Russian oil and natural gas.

To that end, Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia called on Biden and the oil industry to take immediate action “up to and including banning crude oil imports from Russia.”

“If there was ever a time to be energy independent, it is now,” said Manchin, who supports fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas that are his crucial to his energy-producing state.

___

Associated Press writer Matthew Daly contributed from Washington. Business Writer Alex Veiga contributed from Los Angeles.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

United States News

FILE - Cynthia Moreno, 32, hangs a sign across the street from an U.S. Immigration and Customs Enfo...
Associated Press

Appeals arguments set on immigrants brought to US as kids

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Immigrant advocates head to a federal appeals court in New Orleans on Wednesday in hopes of saving an Obama-era program that prevents the deportation of thousands of people brought into the U.S. as children. A federal judge in Texas last year declared the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program illegal — […]
23 hours ago
FILE - Auto rickshaw drivers line up to buy gas near a fuel station in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Wednesda...
Associated Press

Sri Lanka’s crisis rings alarm for other troubled economies

BANGKOK (AP) — Sri Lanka is desperate for help with weathering its worst crisis in recent memory. Its schools are closed for lack of fuel to get kids and teachers to classrooms. Its effort to arrange a bailout from the International Monetary Fund has been hindered by the severity of its financial crisis, its prime […]
23 hours ago
FILE - Secretary of State Anthony Blinken speaks during a news conference in Berlin, Germany, June ...
Associated Press

G-20 meeting may lead to wider divisions over war in Ukraine

WASHINGTON (AP) — Foreign ministers from the world’s largest nations are looking to address the war in Ukraine and its impact on global energy and food security when they meet in Indonesia this week. Yet instead of providing unity, the talks may well exacerbate existing divides over the Ukraine conflict. U.S. Secretary of State Antony […]
23 hours ago
FILE - Rioters face off with police at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. A growing n...
Associated Press

Judges keeping Capitol riot trials in DC amid bias claims

WASHINGTON (AP) — For some of the Washington, D.C., residents who reported for jury duty last month, a pro-Trump mob’s assault on the U.S. Capitol felt like a personal attack. Ahead of a trial for a Michigan man charged in the riot, one prospective juror said a police officer injured during the melee is a […]
23 hours ago
Daniel Guess holds a photograph of himself, right, along with his father, Larry Guess, center, and ...
Associated Press

Gun violence in America: A long list of forgotten victims

ATHENS, Ala. (AP) — Amid the stream of mass shootings that have become chillingly commonplace in America, the reality of the nation’s staggering murder rate can often be seen more clearly in the deaths that never make national news. Take this weekend in Chicago. On Monday, a rooftop shooter opened fire into crowds gathered for […]
23 hours ago
Associated Press

Today in History: July 6, Richard III is crowned

Today in History Today is Wednesday, July 6, the 187th day of 2022. There are 178 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On July 6, 1944, an estimated 168 people died in a fire that broke out during a performance in the main tent of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey […]
23 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
...
Day & Night Air

Tips to lower your energy bill in the Arizona heat

Does your summer electric bill make you groan? Are you looking for effective ways to reduce your bill?
...
Christina O’Haver

BE FAST to spot a stroke

Every 40 seconds—that’s how often someone has a stroke in the United States. It’s the fifth leading cause of death among Americans, with someone dying of a stroke every 3.5 minutes.
Nations agree to release 60M barrels of oil amid Russian war