U.S. and Allies Consider Possible Oil-Reserve Release

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President Donald Trump speaks at the East Room of the White House in May. His administration is actively debating whether to dip into the country’s emergency oil stocks, according to people familiar with the matter.

President Donald Trump speaks at the East Room of the White House in May. His administration is actively debating whether to dip into the country’s emergency oil stocks, according to people familiar with the matter.


Photo:

Getty Images

As oil prices climb, President

Donald Trump

has implored Saudi Arabia and OPEC to pump more oil.

If that doesn’t help curb prices, U.S. and Western officials are discussing another option, according to people familiar with the matter: an emergency release of stockpiled oil around the world.

The Trump administration is actively debating whether to dip into the country’s emergency oil stocks, according to people familiar with the matter. The discussions are part of a broader effort to ensure oil markets remain well supplied amid a host of production disruptions around the world, and rising global demand.

Any draw down of the so-called Strategic Petroleum Reserve isn’t imminent, according to people familiar with the matter. Some senior Trump advisers are strongly opposed to the idea, and the administration is primarily concerned with keeping its options open, according to people familiar with the matter.

Meanwhile, Fatih Birol, director of the International Energy Agency, a group that advises industrialized nations on energy policy and coordinates emergency oil releases globally, told a private dinner last month, that a release was being actively considered inside the IEA, according to people at the dinner.

An IEA spokesman declined to comment on the dinner, but said: “We stand ready to act if necessary to ensure markets remain well supplied.”

Write to Benoit Faucon at benoit.faucon@wsj.com and Timothy Puko at tim.puko@wsj.com