Africa-Press – Botswana. The International Energy Agency (IEA) was due on Friday to hold an emergency meeting on possible new measures to calm the global oil market amid soaring prices sparked by the Ukraine war.
“We are going to discuss what kind of steps we can take in order to provide stability to the oil markets,” IEA executive director Fatih Birol told a debate organised on Thursday by the New York Times.
The meeting of ministers from IEA member countries — its governing board — “was convened by the United States to assess the impact of the recent decision by IEA members to release emergency oil stockpiles and look at possible additional measures”, the French energy transition ministry told AFP.
The IEA said on March 1 that its member countries had agreed to release 60 million barrels of oil from their strategic reserves to stabilise the market, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
On Thursday, US President Joe Biden announced a record release of oil onto the market — one million barrels of US government oil every day for six months, or a total of more than 180 million barrels.
The bold measure, by far the biggest use of the strategic stockpile in history, aims to cool soaring fuel prices and reduce Russia’s leverage as an energy power.
The OPEC group of oil producing countries and its Russia-led allies agreed on Thursday to an only modest oil output increase, ignoring Western pressure to significantly boost production and ease prices.
On March 7, oil prices flirted with historic highs last seen during the 2008 financial crisis. North Sea Brent crude closed at $139.13 a barrel and West Texas Intermediate hit $130.50.