High global crude oil prices a concern: IEA

Brent crude futures rose for fourth day on Tuesday to above USD 116 per barrel.

Updated: Sep 04, 2012, 23:40 PM IST

New Delhi: International Energy Agency, a body of 28 oil importing nations, on Tuesday said high global crude oil prices are a cause for concern.

Global crude oil markets are reasonably well-supplied, but availability of refined fuel products is tight, IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven told reporters here.

"We are monitoring the market," she said when asked if the IEA was considering releasing stockpiles.

Brent crude futures rose for fourth day on Tuesday to above USD 116 per barrel.

There has been intense speculation that IEA may release stockpiles to meet any supply disruption in the wake of hurricane season and due to possible escalations in the tensions between the US and Iran.

"Crude markets are reasonably well supplied but there are clearly signs of tightening in product markets," she said.

Earlier speaking at a FICCI roundtable on 'Energy Technology Perspectives 2012; Pathways to a Clean Energy System', she said IEA recommends countries to create an investment climate that builds confidence in the long-term potential of clean energy technologies.

"Common goals supported by stringent and predictable policies are essential to establish the necessary credibility within the investment community," she said.

The IEA chief said countries around the globe including India gave subsidies to the tune of USD 500 billion in 2011.

Out of these, only 8 percent went to those who actually needed them.

Governments should commit to, and report on, progress on national actions that aim to appropriately reflect the true cost of energy production and consumption.

Pricing carbon emissions and phasing out of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies, while ensuring access to affordable energy for all citizens, are central goals.

Countries should also scale up efforts to unlock the potential of energy efficiency, she said. "Investment in clean energy makes economic sense as every additional dollar invested can generate three dollars in future fuel savings by 2050".