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5 January 2011, Foreign Policy

The International Energy Agency (IEA), Paris-based government policy adviser, calculates that the oil import costs for the 34 countries that make up the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) soared by $200bn over the past year to reach $790bn by the end of 2010. IEA Chief Economist Dr. Fatih Birol said: "It is not in the interest of anyone to see such high prices. Oil exporters need clients with healthy economies but these high prices will sooner or later make the economies sick, which would mean the need for importing oil will be less." Birol believes that in the short term oil producers should increase production to bring down prices.

5 January 2011, The Guardian

In an interview with BBC World Business News, Fatih Birol, Chief Economist of the International Energy Agency, has warned that oil prices are a “dangerous zone” for the global economy. Asked about what is pushing up the price of oil, Dr. Birol highlighted two significant reasons. “One of them is that the market players believe that the demand growth will be very strong this year, mainly driven by China and secondly there is a reluctance, many commentators observe, from the producing countries to increase the production, therefore expectation of a tightening in the markets lead to increase in the prices”, he explained.

5 January 2011, BBC News

Is the world on the brink of another ruinous oil shock? The International Energy Agency (IEA), which speaks for the big industrialised consumers in the West, is nervous. The Organisations chief economist, Fatih Birol, has issued a warning that prices are entering a "dangerous zone" and could leave economic recovery in many countries stillborn. Last month Opec decided against increasing supplies, with Saudi Arabia, the clubs most influential member, suggesting that there was no need for members to meet again until the summer. Given the recent trajectory of prices, however, Mr Birols analysis is more compelling.

17 December 2010, Petroleum Economist

In late November, Dr. Fatih Birol, the chief economist of the International Energy Agency, was in Budapest, Hungary, discussing the IEA’s most recent World Energy Outlook report with the Hungarian government. After his meetings, he gave a public lecture on the challenges facing energy-importing countries over the next 25 years. The main focus of the lecture was on oil demand and production. His most striking example of the world’s increasing demand for oil products was China and the automobile. Today, 500 out of every 1,000 Europeans own a car, in the United States, 700 out of every 1,000 people own a car, while in China, only 30 people in every 1,000 own a car.

15 December 2010, The Chronicle Herald, Canada

High oil prices threaten to derail the fragile economic recovery among developed nations this year, the leading energy watchdog has warned. “Oil prices are entering a dangerous zone for the global economy,” said Fatih Birol, the IEA’s chief economist. “The oil import bills are becoming a threat to the economic recovery. This is a wake-up call to the oil consuming countries and to the oil producers.” The ratio of countries’ oil import bills to GDP, a key measure of the cost of oil prices on economies, is close to levels last seen during the financial crisis in 2008, Mr Birol warned. “It is a very telling story. 2010 rang the first alarm bells and 2011 price levels could bring us to the same financial crisis times that we saw in 2008,” he added.

10 December 2010, Il Sole 24 Ore, Italy

In an interview with Petroleum Economist, IEA Chief Economist Fatih Birol said that todays oil prices of between $85 and $90 a barrel are "already a threat to the worlds economic recovery" and are putting a lot of pressure on the trade balance between countries. The forecast is based on the Agencys New Policy Scenario, in its World Energy Outlook 2010. Oil demand will be driven entirely by non-OECD countries, specifically China, India and the Middle East, says Birol, with annual demand increases of 2.4%, 3.6% and 1.3% respectively. The transport sector will be the main force behind this growth. Natural gas will be "central" to meeting world energy needs, said Birol, and will have "substantial implications for climate change and the geopolitics of energy". Crucially, China is now the "single most-important contributor to the global energy market," said Birol, "how Chinese energy policy evolves will have a profound effect on the rest of the world’’.

7 December 2010, Xinhua

”The decision made by the Chinese government will be more important for the Swedes than their own government”, said Fatih Birol, chief economist of the International Energy Agency while presenting the 2010 World Energy Outlook in Stockholm. The projection for increased vehicle use in China and the country’s ambition in the field of renewable energy and electric vehicles on the global market will significantly shape future energy trends globally. In the context of the current UN Climate Change Summit in Cancun, Dr. Birol called for a legally binding international agreement for reducing the CO2-emissions globally.

2 December 2010, Reuters

In his lecture delivered at the Central European University, Budapest, Dr. Fatih Birol, Chief Economist of the International Energy Agency stated that the era of cheap oil has come to end. “This is a fact we must realise once and for all”, he said. “Fluctuations can, of course, be expected, but in the long run, the trend is clear and points to this direction. Future rise in oil demand will be driven by non-OECD countries, and Iraq will have a decisive role in the expansion of supply”, Birol added.

1 December 2010, Arab Oil & Gas

In the World Energy Outlook, recently published by the International Energy Agency, an assessment of [the Copenhagen accord] promises forms the basis of a “new policies scenario” for the next 25 years. According to the IEA, the scenario puts the world on course to warm by 3.5°C by 2100. The IEA also looked at what it might take to hit a two-degree target; the answer, says the agency’s chief economist, Fatih Birol, is “too good to be believed”. Every signatory of the Copenhagen accord would have to hit the top of its range of commitments. That would provide a worldwide rate of decarbonisation (reduction in carbon emitted per unit of GDP) twice as large in the decade to come as in the one just past: 2.8% a year, not 1.4%. Mr Birol notes that the highest annual rate on record is 2.5%, in the wake of the first oil shock.

30 November 2010, Miljöaktuellt, Sweden

While oil resources are depleting we are now entering a golden era for natural gas, referred to as a silent gas revolution. The abundance of gas resources on the market can deal with a rise in gas demand without affecting the price too much. “This will have an effect on the development of renewable energy sources, not the least as demand for gas is expected to rise by 44 percent until 2035’’, said IEA chief economist Fatih Birol in Stockholm today. “The investment in renewable energy has already decreased, in the US only by 70 percent compared to last year’’, Birol added.