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Oil falls as IEA members meet to discuss stocks release

01 Apr, 2022
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 92 cents, or 0.9%, at $99.36 a barrel. AFP/File
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 92 cents, or 0.9%, at $99.36 a barrel. AFP/File

LONDON. Oil prices fell on Friday ahead of a meeting of International Energy Agency (IEA) member nations set to discuss a release of emergency oil reserves alongside a huge planned release by the United States.

Brent crude futures were down 71 cents, or 0.7%, to $104.00 a barrel by 0952 GMT, after falling 5.6% on Thursday.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 92 cents, or 0.9%, at $99.36 a barrel.

The two benchmark contracts were headed for their biggest weekly losses in two years at 14% and 13%, respectively.

On Thursday, US President Joe Biden announced a release of 1 million barrels per day for six months, starting in May.

That will be the largest release ever from the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR).

Members of the IEA will meet at 1200 GMT on Friday to discuss a further emergency oil release.

Oil prices could reverse course, however, if the release is scaled back or delayed or if delivered volumes are less than those mentioned by the White House, consultancy Eurasia Group said in a note.

OPEC+, which includes the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies including Russia, on Thursday stuck with plans for an increase of 432,000 barrels per day to their May output target despite Western pressure to add more.

“The looming flood of US barrels does not change the fact that the market will struggle to find enough supply in the coming months,” PVM analyst Stephen Brennock said.

“The US release pales in comparison to expectations that 3 million bpd of Russian oil will be shut in as sanctions bite and buyers spurn purchases.”