US Asks Japan, South Korea, Others to Consider Tapping Oil Reserves


  The Biden administration has asked some of the world's largest oil consuming nations to consider releasing some of their crude reserves in a coordinated effort to lower prices and stimulate the economic recovery, according to several people familiar with the matter.

  Global oil prices touched seven-year highs in late October, with populations returning to roads and rails after pandemic restrictions. Meanwhile, supply has not kept pace with demand.

  The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allied producers including Russia have resisted calls from President Joe Biden to speed up the rate of their supply increases.

  In recent weeks, Biden and top aides have raised the issue with close allies including Japan, South Korea and India, as well as with China, the sources said. Several people familiar with the matter cautioned that such negotiations have not been finalized nor has any final decision been made about whether to pursue this or any other course of action on oil prices.

  The White House declined to comment on the detailed content of specific conversations with other countries. “No decisions have been made,” said a spokesperson for the White House's National Security Council.

  The spokesperson added that the White House has said for weeks that it is talking with other energy consumers to ensure global energy supply and prices do not imperil the global economic recovery. There is nothing to report beyond ongoing conversations and we consider a range of tools for if and when action is needed.

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