Middle East unrest: China tapped emergency oil reserves ‘dangling carrot’

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption US President Donald Trump has touted the release of emergency oil reserves as a way to ease tension with Saudi Arabia and Venezuela China is joining other countries…

Middle East unrest: China tapped emergency oil reserves 'dangling carrot'


Image copyright Getty Images Image caption US President Donald Trump has touted the release of emergency oil reserves as a way to ease tension with Saudi Arabia and Venezuela

China is joining other countries in tapping emergency oil reserves amid heightened tensions between Washington and the Middle East, analysts say.

It is the first time since 1974 that the US and other countries have agreed to release emergency reserves.

China is stockpiling oil in case domestic supplies are at risk from political instability in the region, Reuters reports.

The National Energy Administration declined to comment on the reports.

Russia, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are said to be among the 13 members of the International Energy Agency that have agreed to release oil into the market on 7 May.

The nations will sell around one million barrels a day – 5%.

CJG CRU Group president Andrey Kryuchenkov said the move was an “announcement of a crisis in the global oil market”, although the exact cause of the shortages was unclear.

“If tensions between the US and some of its regional allies are not resolved, the surge in geopolitical pressure would lead to disruptions in supply,” he said.

“China is now a big player on the global energy market, and adopting such crisis-management strategies is to be expected.”

He added that China had become aware that the US was once again activating the emergency reserves to address what it perceived as a trade imbalance.

US crude oil prices soared overnight as the move was announced, hitting a four-year high, but eased slightly to settle at US$71.70 a barrel.

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