By Charles Kennedy of OilPrice.com
The members of the International Energy Agency are ready to release more oil from their strategic emergency reserves to tame the surging oil prices, the IEA’s Executive Director Fatih Birol told the Financial Times on Tuesday.
“We are ready to [release] as much oil as is needed,” Birol told FT.
Last week, the IEA agreed that some of its members would release 60 million barrels of crude oil from various countries’ strategic petroleum reserves. The United States has agreed to release 30 million barrels of crude oil from its SPR. The rest of the IEA members in Europe and Asia will release the remaining 30 million barrels.
Last week’s announcement of the oil release failed to stop rallying oil prices as the market feared a disruption in Russian oil supply. Meanwhile, traders and buyers in Europe shunned Russia’s crude, eyeing a potential ban on imports of energy commodities from Russia, and Russia is threatening to shut the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline to Germany.
The release of 60 million barrels of oil is just 4 percent of the total strategic reserves of the members of the IEA, Birol told FT today.
The agency’s chief also criticized two of OPEC’s heavyweights, including the world’s largest oil exporter Saudi Arabia, for not ramping up production.
“Saudi Arabia, Emirates and some other Middle East producers have [a] significant amount of production capacity and I would have expected from the last Opec+ meeting that those countries would share some comforting messages for the global oil markets in terms of increasing their production prospects,” Birol told FT, describing the latest OPEC+ meeting as “disappointing.”
Last week, OPEC+ decided to rubberstamp another 400,000 bpd increase in its collective oil production in April, despite soaring oil prices after a key member of the pact, Russia, invaded Ukraine.