Oil consumers, producers step up cooperation

09:06, April 02, 2010      

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World energy producers and consumers pledged greater cooperation Wednesday and called for transparent markets to tackle oil price volatility, seen as damaging to economic growth.

"With regard to energy market volatility, energy markets should be as transparent as possible," the International Energy Forum (IEF) said in a joint declaration issued at the end of a two-day meeting in Mexico.

It also agreed to strengthen dialogue between leading oil producers, such as Saudi Arabia and Russia, and key consumers including the United States and China, in a bid to eliminate the risk of excessive price swings.

The declaration signed by 66 countries also proposed creating an IEF Charter aimed at improving the forum's own transparency and dialogue and ultimately its influence on the world stage.

"The Cancun Declaration ... confirms the political and financial commitment of IEF countries to an enhanced energy dialogue and outlines the path of a stronger institution," the forum said in a statement, and added that ministers would meet again by March, 2011 in Riyadh, to approve the charter.

Oil prices surged to all-time peaks of above $147 a barrel in July 2008, before the severe global economic downturn saw them crashing to just $32.

Oil soared above $84 Thursday to strike fresh 17-month highs in thin pre-holiday trade, driven by buoyant manufacturing data in China and the eurozone, analysts said.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries - whose member nations together pump about 40 percent of the world's oil - blames speculators for pushing crude futures to record highs nearly two years ago.

British junior energy minister Philip Hunt said that oil price volatility had "very negative consequences for the world."

"We need stable and efficient energy markets. We need them both in terms of ensuring future investment and development," said Hunt. "But we also need them in helping the globe as a whole recover from the financial problems that we've seen in the last two years. That's why I believe this declaration is so important."

The IEF has also used this week's gathering to mull the outlook for renewable energy sources such as biofuels.

Source: Global Times

(Editor:黄蓓蓓)

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