Oil Price Still Serious Risk To World Recovery: IEA

July 2012, Vol. 239 No. 7

Oil prices remain a threat to the fragile global economic recovery despite a recent fall, the International Energy Agency’s chief economist told Reuters last month, adding the IEA remained ready to release emergency oil stocks if needed.

North Sea Brent crude oil reached a peak of more than $128 in March before declining around $15 gradually over the last two months as tensions in the Middle East have eased and oil supplies have increased.

“Even current prices are far too high for the current economic context and pose a serious risk,” IEA chief economist Fatih Birol told the 2012 Reuters Global Energy & Environment Summit. “Economic recovery was especially at stake in Europe, the U.S., Japan and China.”

“I’m concerned for Europe and I’m also very concerned that these high prices would hit the still hesitant and slow U.S. economic recovery,” Birol said.