IEA Governing Board Statement
19 May 2011
Despite a near-10% correction since 5 May, oil prices remain at elevated levels driven by market fundamentals, geopolitical uncertainty and future expectations. The IEA Governing Board expressed serious concern that there are growing signs that the rise in oil prices since September is affecting the economic recovery by widening global imbalances, reducing household and business income, and placing upward pressure on inflation and interest rates. As global demand for oil increases seasonally from May to August, there is a clear, urgent need for additional supplies on a more competitive basis to be made available to refiners to prevent a further tightening of the market.
Additional increases in prices at this stage of the economic cycle risk derailing the global economic recovery and are in the interest of neither producing nor of consuming countries. Oil-importing developing countries are most likely to be seriously affected by high oil prices, undermining their economic and social well-being. In these circumstances, enhancing consumer-producer dialogue is urgently important to reach both short- and long-term solutions. The Governing Board urges action from producers that will help avoid the negative global economic consequences which a further sharp market tightening could cause, and welcomes commitments to increase supply. We stand ready to work with producers as well as non-member consumers; in this constructive spirit, we are prepared to consider using all tools that are at the disposal of IEA member countries.