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IEA Isn’t Planning Any Coordinated Action on Oil Supplies

March 22 (Bloomberg) -- The International Energy Agency said it isn’t planning a coordinated release of emergency oil stockpiles among its 28 member nations, playing down talk that any such agreement is under discussion.

It is also premature to speculate about “unconfirmed rumors” regarding inventory releases by individual member countries, Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven said today in an e-mailed statement during an official visit to New Delhi. The Paris-based IEA advises oil-consumer nations including the U.S., Japan, U.K. and Germany on energy policy.

“The IEA was created to respond to serious physical supply disruptions,” van der Hoeven said. “As no specific supply disruption is currently underway, we are not planning any coordinated actions at the present time.”

The agency coordinated the release of 60 million barrels of crude and oil products in June after Libyan output was disrupted by the armed uprising against former leader Muammar Qaddafi, sending prices higher. The IEA also made supplies available during the 1991 Persian Gulf War and when Hurricane Katrina struck rigs and refineries in the Gulf of Mexico in 2005.

Brent crude has gained 14 percent this year to $122.60 a barrel in London, mainly on concern that a conflict involving Iran may choke off oil exports from the Persian Gulf.

IEA nations are required to store enough oil to cover 90 days of imports, and no member has consulted the IEA about using their individual stockpiles, van der Hoeven said.

French Minister Considers

French Industry Minister Eric Besson said yesterday releasing some strategic oil stockpile is “one option” being considered to counter rising crude prices.

“France is studying with its partners all possible options to counter the rise in oil prices,” Besson said in a statement. “The release of one part of the strategic stockpiles of industrialized countries is one of these options.”

U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron said last week in New York there is no agreement with U.S. President Barack Obama on using strategic reserves to reduce prices, adding that tapping stockpiles should be considered. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney reiterated that no agreement was reached.

To contact the reporters on this story: Lananh Nguyen in London at lnguyen35@bloomberg.net; Stephen Voss in London at sev@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at sev@bloomberg.net

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