Energy Minister Charles Hendry, speaking at the International Energy Forum (IEF) ministerial meeting in Saudi Arabia today, said:
“Current oil prices underline the fundamental importance of international collaboration to enhance oil price stability.
“Today’s discussions are an important milestone in our efforts to improve the functioning of energy markets, and demonstrate the firm commitment of OPEC, IEA, oil producers and consumers to act together on this hugely important agenda.
“It is important that those countries that are capable of doing so respond to market imbalance by increasing production, so increased demand can be met at prices that will not damage world economic growth. I therefore welcome the comments from IEA and OPEC that they are ready to work to increase oil supply as this is needed.
“The high level of the oil price is also a reminder of the importance of the UK’s domestic agenda of shifting away from the oil hook and onto secure low carbon sources of energy in the long run.”
The IEF brings together nearly 90 of the world’s largest oil and gas consuming and producing countries, OPEC and IEA, to promote stable and transparent energy markets. At the meeting today, UK Energy Minister Charles Hendry chaired a session examining drivers of volatility.
- noted that the IEA and OPEC share a similar view of the oil markets, with spare capacity, inventory levels and expected slowdown in oil demand growth meaning neither organisation consider price spikes such as those in 2008 are likely;
- called for further joint collaboration between IEA and OPEC to improve the comparability and quality of their energy outlooks, providing greater certainty for the increased investment needed in oil production;
- committed to greater transparency of oil market data, to reduce uncertainty on developments in current energy markets;
- agreed to further analysis of the drivers of price volatility, in particular the interaction of physical and financial oil markets; and
- signed a new Charter to put the IEF on a firmer political and financial footing.