The US was due to carry through with an initial 18mn barrel release of crude from its Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) on 17 December as MEES went to press.

This is part of overall plans to “make available” 50mn barrels from the SPR over the coming months with the remaining 32mn barrels slated to take the form of an ”exchange… releasing oil that will eventually return to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in the years ahead” (MEES, 26 November). (CONTINUED - 135 WORDS)