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history History


The IEA was founded in response to the 1973/4 oil crisis in order to help countries co-ordinate a collective response to major disruptions in oil supply through the release of emergency oil stocks to the markets.

When it was founded, the main objectives of the IEA were:

  • to maintain and improve systems for coping with oil supply disruptions
  • to promote rational energy policies in a global context through co-operative relations with non-member countries, industry and international organisations
  • to operate a permanent information system on the international oil market
  • to improve the world’s energy supply and demand structure by developing alternative energy sources and increasing the efficiency of energy use
  • to promote international collaboration on energy technology, and
  • to assist in the integration of environmental and energy policies.

For more information, read ‘History of the IEA’: Volumes I, II, III, IV

Key historical documents

40 years history of the International Energy Agency is shown in this presentation.