U.S. to release around 50 million barrels of crude oil from strategic reserves
The U.S. President Joe Biden announced to release around 50 million barrels of crude oil from strategic reserves in coordination with India and other major global energy consumers like South Korea, Japan and Britain to ease crude oil prices. The coordinated step came as OPEC plus producers repeatedly ignored calls for more crude production. In this regard, India has already announced release of five million barrels of crude oil from its Strategic Petroleum Reserves saying that pricing of liquid hydrocarbons should be reasonable, responsible and be determined by market forces.
Though, China had also promised to be part of this coordinated step but today its foreign ministry spokesman said that china will release crude oil from its reserves according to its needs.
Yesterday, in a press release, India said that it has repeatedly expressed concern at supply of oil being artificially adjusted below demand levels by oil producing countries, leading to rising prices and negative attendant consequences.
Though, the release of five million barrels of crude is around half of India’s daily domestic consumption, it is seen as a symbolic move as oil consumers are willing to band together against OPEC’s reign over markets.
To ease the retail oil prices at domestic level and to control inflationary pressures, Government of India had reduced the ‘central excise duty’ on petrol by five rupees and diesel by 10 rupees on 3rd of this month. It was followed by reduction in VAT on fuel by many state governments.
(*50*) Minister Modi has been consistently reviewing the high petroleum and diesel prices domestically. The government eased the central excise duty despite the high fiscal burden on the Government to provide relief to citizens.