The move by a US-led group of oil-consuming countries to release strategic petroleum reserves (SPR) in a concerted manner has more to do with Washington’s domestic priorities rather than an attempt to cool oil prices since the volumes offered are only a little over 1 per cent of the average Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) output.
India has unwittingly got involved in Washington’s move to prop up US President Joe Biden’s sagging image before Senate polls next year, which may alienate key oil producers — Opec and Russia.
Crude oil prices, already at a seven-year high, rose after the US announced a plan to draw down as much as 50 million barrels (mn bbl) of crude oil from its SPR in the next several months in tandem with other oil-consuming nations, including China, Japan, South Korea, India, and the UK.
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