“The President has been working with countries across the world to address the lack of supply as the world exits the pandemic,” the White House said in a statement.
The United States indicated it was prepared to sell 50 million barrels of oil from its strategic reserves.
The decision to open up the strategic reserves was taken to stabilise oil prices. Unexpectedly, it had the opposite effect. Against the background of the White House statement, the price of Brent began to rise. January futures for Brent on ICE Futures at 1300 GMT on 23rd November had climbed 0.18 % to stand at $79.84 a barrel.
On 24th November, at the end of the trading day in Asia, Brent stood at a level near $82.50.
Analysts pondered why prices rose despite the widely-announced international release of the reserves.
The move had been widely anticipated for weeks and traders took due account of what was not a vast amount of new supply on markets. And under the terms of the U.S. announcement, some of the released oil is subject to a “swap” system and must eventually be returned to the strategic reserve.
And it is not certain if OPEC+ countries will alter plans to stick to a plan of slow, monthly production increases of 400,000 barrels a day. The group’s ministers meet next week.
Bloomberg reported that OPEC+ officials were prepared to rethink planned crude increases given the widely expected release from reserves. But analysts said the continued rise in price made any decision by OPEC+ to halt the small increases unlikely.