IEA Continues Implementation of its Co-ordinated Response, Remains Prepared to Weather the Storms and Encourages Energy Conservation

(Paris) — 20 October 2005

The IEA Governing Board today reviewed its initial collective response action of 2 September 2005 to disrupted oil supplies in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and agreed to allow volumes of crude oil and oil products from the IEA’s original offer of 60 million barrels, not yet taken up, to remain available to the market. The IEA will continue to assess the market and the Governing Board reiterated its preparedness to take additional co-ordinated action, if necessary, to address possible future shortages in products and crude oil, caused by the cumulative damage left by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, or indeed, other unanticipated supply losses. Flexibility will be used in replenishing IEA emergency oil stocks through 2006, taking into account the seasonality of demand and the upcoming heating season in the northern hemisphere.

More careful energy consumption across IEA member countries will significantly reduce the risk of another gap appearing in international oil supplies. As major uncertainties loom in the oil market balance to year end, the Governing Board stressed that energy conservation programmes and energy efficiency policies are essential to IEA Member countries’ responses to short term oil and gas supply disruptions and to strengthening international energy security.

While focusing on developments in the short-term market, the Governing Board also emphasized that embarking now on long-term solutions is essential to curbing the growth of energy import dependency, economic vulnerability to high and volatile energy prices, and meeting the challenge of climate change. It reaffirmed its commitment to working towards a clean, clever and competitive energy future through national and international programmes. This includes major new initiatives launched by the IEA in support of the G8 Plan of Action, in particular, promoting global energy efficiency.

The Governing Board reiterated its commitment to promoting policies to encourage investments across the energy supply chain, with a clear focus on removing barriers to energy infrastructure investments on home turf, and prioritising those targeted at increasing global oil refining capacity. The upcoming World Energy Outlook will explore the consequences of a lower rate of investment in world oil and gas and the policy options.


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