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IEA meets on potential oil stocks release after Russia invasion -Breaking


© Reuters. FILEPHOTO: An image of a pump jack at dawn near Bakersfield (California), October 14, 2014 REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Yuka Obayashi and Kate Abnett, Noah Browning

TOKYO (Reuters – The extraordinary ministerial meeting held by members of International Energy Agency (IEA on Tuesday could lead to a coordinated oil stock release after Russia’s invasion in Ukraine. Oil prices have soared above $100 a barrel since then.

On Tuesday, the price of a barrel was $103 per barrel. This is because some buyers had stopped buying Russian barrels following Western sanctions against Moscow. While supplies around the world have been tightening as demand for oil has increased, and output struggles to keep pace, prices were trading at $103 per barrel. [O/R]

Russia is one of the top oil exporters in the world, producing around 4-5million barrels of crude per day. A Russian disruption could cause prices to rise even more.

According to Japan’s industrial ministry, the meeting started at 1300 GMT. It was scheduled to conclude at 1500 GMT.

Jennifer Granholm, U.S. Energy Secretary, will chair the meeting of members in Paris-based IEA. This group represents mainly industrialised countries and has coordinated three oil stock release emergencies in the past.

Kadri SIMSON, European Union’s chief of energy policy, stated that the rise in oil prices has caused concern around the globe.

Simson stated that “Releasing part these stocks is a powerful instrument member states can utilize, but the correct conditions have to be in effect,” Simson shared after a meeting between energy ministers from EU nations, many of whom are also IEA members.

The IEA, which has 30 members, was established in 1974 to be an energy watchdog. Its main role is “coordination a collective response” to severe disruptions in oil supply.

In concert with other oil-consuming countries like China, India, and Japan, the United States released 50 million barrels of its Strategic Petroleum Reserve last November.

The IEA didn’t oversee the operation and said that it responds only collectively to severe supply interruptions. In 2011, it coordinated an emergency release during the disruption to oil supplies caused by the Libyan Civil War.

China, world’s second largest consumer and importer and No. 2 in consumption, has never publicly committed to this move. Instead, China buys more to increase its reserves.

US holds approximately half of all world’s strategic oil reserves. All 29 IEA members – including Australia, Germany and Japan – have to maintain oil in an emergency reserve equivalent to 90 day of net oil imports.

Japan holds the second-largest reserves of oil after China, the United States.

Last month, the IEA reported that oil inventories in OECD countries had fallen to their lowest point in seven years. They covered less than 60 days of forward-demand in December. [IEA/M]

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