China is joining the US and other countries in tapping emergency oil reserves

The White House announced Tuesday that the United States would release about 50 million barrels from its Strategic Petroleum Reserve, and that China, Japan, India, South Korea and the United Kingdom would participate in the coordinated move. According to the International Energy Agency, which monitors global oil supplies on behalf of the world’s leading economies, there have been three coordinated stock releases since the agency was founded: before the Gulf War in 1991, after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita damaged oil facilities in the Gulf of Mexico in 2005, and in response to supply disruption caused by war in Libya in 2011.”We recognize that the rise in oil prices is placing a burden on consumers and has added to inflationary pressures during a period when the economic recovery remains uneven and faces a range of risks,” the IEA said in a statement. The Paris-based agency was not involved in the US-led initiative. The coordinated attempt to reduce prices follows a decision by South KoreaThe South Korean government said in a statement that the amount and timing of its oil reserves release would be decided through consultation with the other countries, but said it was expected to be at a level “similar to previous international cooperation cases.”During the Libyan crisis in 2011, when civil war disrupted global oil supplies by taking up to 1.8 million barrels a day offline, South Korea released nearly 3.5 million barrels or about 4% of the country’s oil reserves, it said.”The South Korean government decided to participate in the US’s proposal to release oil reserve after taking into consideration of the need for international cooperation to recent sharp rise in international oil prices, the importance of the [South Korea]-US alliance, and the participation of major countries,” it said in a statement from its ministry of foreign affairs.United KingdomThe UK government said in a statement it will allow companies to “voluntarily release” oil reserves of up to 1.5 million barrels, in what it called “a sensible and measured step to support global markets as we emerge from the pandemic.””As we’ve said before, we will work closely with our international partners to do what we can to support the global economy through the transition following the pandemic,” a government spokesperson said.—CNN’s Beijing bureau, Manveena Suri, Emiko Jozuka, Junko Ogura and Yoonjung Seo contributed to this report.