West Texas Intermediate oil oil was down sharply on Tuesday as President Biden announced a plan to release 50 million barrels of oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve, or SPR, in coordination with other countries, to help ease pricing pressures, supply-chain bottlenecks and surging demand that have emerged in the economic recovery phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. WTI crude for January delivery /zigman2/quotes/209723049/delayed CL00 +0.50% was trading 29 cents, or 0.4%, lower at $76.43 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after rising 1.1% on Monday. "As we come out of an unprecedented global economic shutdown, oil supply has not kept up with demand, forcing working families and businesses to pay the price," wrote Secretary Granholm, U.S. Secretary of Energy, in a Tuesday statement. "This action underscores the President's commitment to using the tools available to bring down costs for working families and to continue our economic recovery," the energy secretary said. The White House said that the release will come in two parts: 32 million barrels will be an exchange over the next several months, releasing oil that will eventually return to the SPR in the years ahead; and "18 million barrels will be an acceleration into the next several months of a sale of oil that Congress had previously authorized." The statement from the White House said that the U.S. would be ready to take additional action as needed to relieve pricing pressures. The U.S.'s SPR is the world's largest emergency stockpile of crude oil. The SPR was established primarily to reduce the impact of disruptions in supplies of petroleum products and to carry out obligations of the United States under the international energy program, according to the Energy Department. The stocks in the reserve, which have an authorized capacity of 714 million barrels, are federally owned and are stored in underground salt caverns at four sites along the Gulf of Mexico coastline. As of Nov. 12, the SPR had a total of 606.1 million barrels of crude oil, following a drawdown of 11.6 million barrels in October. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, including Russia, known as OPEC+, have rebuffed calls to increase production, amid concerns that the current prices will compromise the global economic recovery. Biden had previously asked China, Japan, India and South Korea to also release strategic oil along with the U.S. to help lower prices across the globe.