WASHINGTON – The Obama administration has decided to release 30 million barrels of oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve as part of a broader international effort to pump more 60 million barrels onto the world market over the next month.
U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said the release of oil is a response to oil supply disruptions caused by turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa, including Libya.
The administration said the uprising in Libya has resulted in a loss of about 1.5 million barrels of oil a day. The release comes as the United States approaches a period of high energy use in July and August.
In a statement released by the White House, Energy Secretary Steven Chu said the release of oil was directly related to a loss of production from Libya.
“We are taking this action in response to the ongoing loss of crude oil due to supply disruptions in Libya and other countries and their impact on the global economic recovery,” said Energy Secretary Steven Chu. “As we move forward, we will continue to monitor the situation and stand ready to take additional steps if necessary.”