International Energy Agency considers market intervention
The International Energy Agency said representatives of 31 of its member states met on Friday to discuss the impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on global energy markets.
The agency’s mission has included intervening in energy markets during emergencies, when there is a severe disruption in oil supplies, and the announcement appeared as a sign that it was preparing to act. Such a move would likely take the form of a major release of oil inventories intended to calm the markets.
“The Russian aggression has raised concerns among oil market participants against the backdrop of already tight global markets and volatility in prices,” Group executive director, Fatih Birol, said in a statement.
The attack pushed international benchmark Brent crude to around $105 a barrel on Thursday. Brent prices later fell below $100 a barrel as news that Western sanctions would not directly target Russian energy activities eased fears of a supply disruption. Natural gas prices in Europe also fell back after jumping on Thursday but remained at historically high levels.
Mr Birol also said that the group had also discussed that any disruption in the supply of Russian natural gas through Ukraine could put pressure on Europe, where gas prices have already risen, and that this “developed situation”. Will continue to monitor it closely.”
The group, which is based in Paris, is made up of energy consuming countries, with the United States playing a strong role. The agency has conducted three releases in oil markets over three decades but not in gas.
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