The International Energy Agency (IEA) is ready to react in the face of tighter oil markets and rising prices and is prepared to release oil stocks if there is a supply shortage on the market, a statement from the IEA said late Thursday.
The statement came after two days of talks between experts from the 28 IEA members, which are mainly the most industrialized, developed nations.
IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven said in a statement that “the oil market has been tightening in recent months (and) crude oil prices are very high again and petrol prices have reached a record high level in some member countries”.
Last June, the IEA took concrete action in view of a supply shortage due to the Libyan conflict and released a million barrels per day to the market for a two-month period.
This did alleviate pressure on prices while other suppliers worked in OPEC to make up for the Libyan short-fall.
The IEA said Thursday that it was again prepared to act and several nations like the United States and France have said they were in talks with the IEA about releasing oil from the national strategic reserve that maintains at least 90 days of forward consumption in government and company stocks.
“The IEA is closely monitoring market developments and will remain in close contact with member countries to exchange views about the oil-market situation, ” the IEA chief said, adding that “the IEA was created to respond to serious physical supply disruptions, and we remain ready to act if market conditions so warrant”.