US President Barack Obama announced an expansion of domestic oil production on Saturday to counter rising crude prices.
High fuel prices have hit Obama’s popularity ratings and could derail his bid for re-election next year amid continued voter concern over the state of the US economy.
“I am directing the Department of Interior to conduct annual lease sales in Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve, while respecting sensitive areas, and to speed up the evaluation of oil and gas resources in the mid and south Atlantic,” Obama said in a televised address.
The recent unrest in the Arab world has seen the price of oil shoot up since the start of the year.
Brent crude hit a two-and-a-half year high in April of 127 dollars per barrel, equivalent to 90 euros.