US government stops buy of reserve oil; prices hit 127 dollars
On a day that oil prices breached a record 127 dollars a barrel, the United State government said Friday it would stop buying new supplies for its strategic oil reserve, dpa reported.
The government was acting on the orders of Congress, which on Tuesday voted with overwhelming majority to stop the purchases to help bring down soaring oil prices.
Current purchase contracts expire at the end of June, but new agreements would not be signed for the second six months of 2008, according to a statement from the US Department of Energy.
Initially, the government had intended to continue buying 76,000 barrels a day through to December.
Under the administration of US President George W Bush, the strategic reserve inventory has climbed from 540 million barrels to the current 702 million barrels. The reserves are stored in the underground salt caverns located along the Gulf Coast of Louisiana and Texas.