News

France Considering Release of Oil Reserves

Gasoline priced at $5.89 for regular is advertised at a U.S. Shell station, Monday, Feb. 27, 2012, in Orlando, Florida. Oil prices are falling as investors lock in profits after a seven-day surge.
Gasoline priced at $5.89 for regular is advertised at a U.S. Shell station, Monday, Feb. 27, 2012, in Orlando, Florida. Oil prices are falling as investors lock in profits after a seven-day surge.

France says it is ready to release some of its strategic oil reserves, possibly in a joint effort with the United States and Britain to curb the increase in crude oil prices and cut the cost of gasoline that motorists pay.

French Energy Minister Eric Besson said Wednesday that the U.S. had asked it to join in releasing some of its emergency stock of oil. He said France is discussing the plan with the International Energy Agency, the 28-nation coalition of industrialized nations that coordinates release of oil reserves. The U.S. said no decision has been made on whether to release any of the oil it controls.

Normally, oil reserves are only released when there is a severe oil supply disruption, which is not the case at the moment. But Western leaders say they are concerned that the increase in oil prices over the last several months could slow the global economic recovery.

The price of oil - which largely controls the cost of gasoline - has partly risen because of tensions over what Western powers say is the development of nuclear weaponry by oil-producing Iran. Emerging global economies are also using more oil, further boosting the price.

Consumer complaints about increased gasoline costs are weighing heavily on U.S. President Barack Obama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, both of whom face tough re-election contests in the coming months. In the U.S., the cost of gasoline now averages more than $1 a liter. That price is still quite low by some international comparisons, but the highest ever in the U.S. for this time of year.

World oil prices fell Wednesday after France announced its intention to tap its strategic reserves and a U.S. report showed that its oil inventories are growing. The price for light sweet crude oil fell two percent on the New York market to about $105 a barrel.

But analysts say the current price is about $15 a barrel higher than it might be without the confrontation between West and Iran, which could lead to a disruption in Iran's oil exports. Some suggest that release of the emergency reserves could cut the price of oil to about $100 a barrel.

Some information for this report provided by AFP.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs