China and the United States, two of the world's largest consumers of oil, have agreed to cooperate on the use of their strategic petroleum reserves as they wound up a high-level economic dialogue on Thursday.
"The U.S. and China agreed to strengthen cooperation on construction and management of strategic oil stocks," said the statement from the U.S. after the conclusion of the 3rd China-U.S. Strategic Economic Dialogue, which was held in Beijing.
"Coordinated use of strategic petroleum reserves increases energy security for net oil-importing countries during times of significant supply disruption," the statement said.
The announcement came as world crude prices remained near recent highs. U.S. crude-oil futures surged to 94 U.S. dollars per barrel on Wednesday in New York, the highest level in about two weeks, after news of a fall in U.S. crude oil inventories.
Imports accounted for 66 percent of U.S. domestic petroleum consumption last year, while the figure for China was 47 percent, which became a net importer of oil during the 1990s as its economy took off.