IEA Governing Board Reviews the State of the Oil Market

(Paris) — 20 February 2003

The International Energy Agency’s Governing Board met in a regularly scheduled meeting on February 20, 2003. The Board reviewed the state of the oil market and noted the arrival in world markets of supplementary volumes of crude from Middle East producers. It welcomed producers’ decisions to replace supplies lost through reduced exports from Venezuela. The Board also discussed long term policy issues as it prepared for the April 28 meeting of the Governing Board at Ministerial level.

The Governing Board was briefed by the Venezuelan Minister of Energy and Mines, Rafael Ramirez, on developments in its oil and gas sectors. It welcomed the commitment of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to restoring its production and exports to normal levels with a minimum of delay to help re-establish stability in the international oil market.

In light of tight oil markets, the Governing Board welcomed oil producers’ demonstrated commitment to increase production to offset any further disruption in supply. IEA Members remain firm in their commitment to make additional volumes of oil available to the market to reinforce producers’ efforts if needed.

The Governing Board reviewed the levels of stocks held by Members. Combined publicly and privately held stocks are the equivalent of 115 days of total net imports which currently total over 25 million barrels per day. These stocks, held as both crude and product, are near IEA Members’ refineries and distribution points and can be made available rapidly to markets.