U.S. President Joe Biden's decision to tap his nation's emergency oil stockpiles marks the first time in two decades that a president has used the reserve to tame energy prices rather than to tackle a supply disruption.

The release also marks the first to be coordinated together with consuming nations beyond the auspices of the West's energy watchdog, the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Biden announced Tuesday that the United States will release 50 million barrels of oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) in coordination with stockpile releases by China, India, South Korea, Japan and the U.K., in an effort to cool prices that have reached seven-year highs.