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The US has said it is releasing of 50 million barrels of oil from its strategic reserve in an attempt to bring down energy prices.

The move is being taken in parallel with other major energy consuming nations, including China, India, Japan, South Korea and the UK.

US President Joe Biden has repeatedly asked the Opec group of oil producers to increase production more rapidly.

But Opec has stuck to an agreement to only increase output gradually.

Washington sees the pace as being too slow, but Opec has voiced concerns that a resurgence of coronavirus cases could drive down demand again, as happened at the height of the pandemic.

Current high prices have come after a sharp uptick in global demand as economies recover from the coronavirus crisis.

"American consumers are feeling the impact of elevated gas prices at the pump and in their home heating bills, and American businesses are, too, because oil supply has not kept up with demand as the global economy emerges from the pandemic," a statement from the White House said.

"That's why President Biden is using every tool available to him to work to lower prices and address the lack of supply."

The statement added: "The President stands ready to take additional action".

As part of the coordinated effort, the UK government is making 1.5 million barrels of oil available for release from its reserve, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy said.

"This action is intended to continue supporting the global economic recovery as, with international partners, we build back better from the pandemic," it said.

However, it said "any benefit for UK drivers is likely to be limited and short in nature".