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IEA says ready to act upon oil supply disruption when needed

(Xinhua)

08:58, March 30, 2012

PARIS, March 29 (Xinhua) -- The International Energy Agency (IEA) on Thursday said it was ready to respond to serious oil supply disruptions when needed.

"The IEA is closely monitoring market developments and will remain in close contact with member countries to exchange views about the oil-market situation," Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven said in a statement after a regular meeting held here in Paris.

"As we have mentioned many times, the IEA was created to respond to serious physical supply disruptions, and we remain ready to act if market conditions so warrant," he added.

According to Hoeven, "the oil market has been tightening in recent months; crude oil prices are very high again, and petrol prices have reached a record high level in some member countries."

The executive director stressed that the IEA, like many others, was concerned by the impact of these high prices while the global economic recovery remained fragile.

Latest reports showed that crude oil prices saw an increase of more than 15 percent since January to hit 128 U.S. dollars per barrel in March.

The energy agency attributed the price hike to "geopolitical tension and unplanned outages in non-OPEC countries" that dented oil supply, "while potential additional losses relating to Iran add more uncertainty for the crude outlook," the agency said in its recent Oil Market Report.

The agency projected that global oil demand would grow by 0.8 million barrels per day in 2012 to 89.9 million barrels per day.

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