Hike output to aid global recovery, IEA tells OPEC

In an unusual move, the International Energy Agency – an intergovernmental body representing the world's top 28 oil consumers, mainly among developed economies - said today that oil producers need to increase supplies, as spurting oil prices are threatening global economic recovery.

 ''There is a clear, urgent need for additional supplies on a more competitive basis to be made available to refiners to prevent a further tightening of the market,'' the IEA's governing board said in a statement. ''The rise in oil prices since September is affecting economic recovery.''

After its regular quarterly meeting on 18-19 May, the Paris-based agency said that it is ''prepared to consider using all tools that are at the disposal of IEA member countries'' to increase supplies.

The call is clearly aimed to put pressure on the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which controls 40 per cent of the world's oil supply. It comes ahead of the OPEC meeting scheduled in Vienna on 8 June.

"The governing board urges action from producers that will help avoid the negative global economic consequences which a further sharp market tightening could cause, and welcomes commitments to increase supply," the members said.

"Additional increases in prices at this stage of the economic cycle risk derailing the global economic recovery and are neither in the interest of producing nor of consuming countries," they added.