Washington, D.C. – The U.S. and its partners in the International Energy Agency will release 60 million barrels of oil onto the world market over the next 30 days to offset disruption in the oil supply caused by unrest in the Middle East.

As part of the effort, the U.S. will release 30 million barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, which is currently at a historically high level with 727 million barrels.

“We are taking this action in response to the ongoing loss of crude oil due to supply disruptions in Libya and other countries and their impact on the global economic recovery,” said Energy Secretary Steven Chu. “As we move forward, we will continue to monitor the situation and stand ready to take additional steps if necessary.”

The U.S. government said that the situation in Libya has caused a loss of roughly 1.5 million barrels of oil per day from global markets, particularly of light sweet crude.

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