IEA details plan to release 120 million barrels of oil to cool prices

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An oil pump of IPC Petroleum France is seen at sunset outside Sommesous, near Reims, France, February 28, 2022. Picture taken February 28, 2022. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol

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  • IEA countries to tap 60 mln bbls oil on top of U.S. release
  • Japan to release 15 mln bbls, followed by 7.23 mln bbls from S Korea

April 8 (Reuters) - The International Energy Agency (IEA) has listed members' contributions to a 120-million-barrel release of crude and oil products from emergency stockpiles aimed at cooling global oil prices following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The release of stocks by the U.S.-allied members of the IEA - which is made up of 31 mostly industrialized countries, but does not include Russia - would be their second coordinated release in a month and the fifth in the agency's history.

It is the largest release from non-U.S. IEA countries, and the biggest by the United States.

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The United States will match the 60 million barrels tapped by other IEA countries as part of its 180-million-barrel draw from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve announced in March.

The total release of 240 million barrels will be made available to the global market within six months, the IEA said.

"The decision of IEA countries on 1 April was to collectively release 120 million barrels, and the U.S. share in this is 60 million barrels. This is based on a specific methodology for attributing country shares in the action, using oil consumption," the IEA told Reuters.

"The U.S. decided to release more than their share, in total they announced '1 million barrels per day over the next 6 months', which equates to 180 million barrels, over the period of May to October."

Global oil prices , are headed for their second weekly drop since the United States announced its largest ever oil reserve release in late March, with Brent falling about $10 to briefly edge below $100 a barrel.

Prices hit 14-year highs last month as Western sanctions on Russia disrupted crude and oil product exports from the world's number two crude exporter.

The total U.S. and IEA releases this year, including a March 1 coordinated release of 60 million barrels, reduces by nearly 15% the nearly 2.1 billion barrels in storage the group controlled before Russia invaded Ukraine.

Japan, the second-biggest contributor, said it would release a record 15 million barrels. read more

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters late on Thursday Russia's invasion of Ukraine was "unforgivable" and that the release would help curb oil prices.

"We must not forgive its invasion and war crimes. We will demonstrate our will with severe action," he said.

Russia says its forces are conducting a "special operation" in Ukraine and denies targeting civilians.

New Zealand said it would contribute crude and diesel to the IEA release.

"Our release is made up of around 184,000 barrels of crude oil held in Spain and close to 299,000 barrels of diesel held in the United Kingdom," New Zealand's Minister of Energy and Resources Megan Woods said in a statement.

Other major contributors include South Korea, Germany, France, Italy and Britain.

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Reporting by Timothy Gardner in Washington, Noah Browning in London, Kavya Guduru, Seher Dareen and Ashitha Shivaprasad in Bengaluru, Lucy Craymer in Wellington, Kantaro Komiya, Tetsushi Kajimoto and Yuka Obayashi in Tokyo; Writing by Florence Tan; Editing by Robert Birsel, David Holmes, Kirsten Donovan and Jan Harvey

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