IEA urges OPEC to take ‘necessary steps’ to lower oil prices

IEA urges OPEC to take ‘necessary steps’ to lower oil prices

AFP

PARIS: The head of the International Energy Agency on Wednesday called on OPEC and its allies to take measures to help bring oil prices down to “reasonable levels”.
“I very much hope to see in the next meeting or meetings they... make the necessary steps in order to comfort the global oil markets and help bring the prices down at reasonable levels,” Fatih Birol told reporters. The head of the IEA, which unites oil consuming nations, took aim at Russia in particular. “Russia can easily increase exports to Europe about 15 percent... and significantly comfort the European gas markets,” said Birol. Natural gas prices in Europe have surged this year and Russia, the regions major supplier, has been slow to step up deliveries. OPEC nations and their allies, including Russia, are slowly increasing their output each month towards pre-pandemic levels.
The United States and a handful of other oil consuming nations announced on Tuesday a release of their strategic oil reserves in a bid to blunt soaring prices at the pump that are biting into consumers pocketbooks and pushing up transportation costs. Meanwhile, oil prices were steady on Wednesday as investors questioned the effectiveness of a US-led release of oil from strategic reserves and turned their focus to how producers will respond. Brent crude futures were down 15 cents or 0.1% at $82.16 a barrel by 1311 GMT, having jumped by 3.3% on Tuesday. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 16 cents, or 0.2%, to $78.34 after a 2.3% gain on Tuesday.