opec: IEA urges OPEC to take ‘necessary steps’ to lower oil prices

The head of the International Energy Agency on Wednesday called on OPEC and its allies to take measures to help bring oil prices down to “reasonable levels”.

“I very much hope to see in the next meeting or meetings they… make the necessary steps in order to comfort the global oil markets and help bring the prices down at reasonable levels,” Fatih Birol told reporters.

The head of the IEA, which unites oil consuming nations, took aim at Russia in particular.

“Russia can easily increase exports to Europe about 15 percent… and significantly comfort the European gas markets,” said Birol.

Natural gas prices in Europe have surged this year and Russia, the region’s major supplier, has been slow to step up deliveries.

OPEC nations and their allies, including Russia, are slowly increasing their output each month towards pre-pandemic levels.

They have declined to move faster despite a jump in prices to over $80 per barrel, a level that many analysts worry could undermine the global economic recovery.

The United States and a handful of other oil consuming nations announced on Tuesday a release of their strategic oil reserves in a bid to blunt soaring prices at the pump that are biting into consumers pocketbooks and pushing up transportation costs.

Global crude prices rose further as the move was less ambitious than anticipated.

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