Japanese official urges IEA member countries to improve energy security

May 02, 2005 02:00 AM

A top Japanese official called for member countries of the International Energy Agency to take steps to improve global energy security.
"Now more than ever, there is growing concern globally for energy security in the context of a rapid increase in energy demand and rising oil prices," Japan's Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Shoichi Nakagawa told delegates at an IEA ministerial meeting in Paris.

The official called on IEA member countries to boost their energy efficiency measures to strengthen energy security worldwide. He also said the IEA should share its ideas with non-member countries.
Nakagawa said it is essential for IEA member countries to improve oil market stability. As part of this, he said the IEA should continue to work with oil producing countries to encourage them to improve their investment terms in a bid to guarantee a steady flow of crude supply.

Furthermore the official told delegates of the need to find ways to invest more significantly in capacity expansionin refining and distribution.
"The price of gasoline and other oil products are increasing as a result of shortfalls in refining capacity and complex regulations, which are in turn reflected in crude prices," he said.

Nakagawa also pointed out the importance of maintaining and improving existing oil stock piling systems. He said this mechanism should be encouraged among non-member IEA countries.
"The IEA 90-day oil stock pile obligation is the centrepiece of measures taken by developed oil consuming countries. We need to reconfirm that IEA member countries will take concerted action without hesitation in the event of an emergency," he said. He also called for greater oil market transparency through accurate demand and supply data, which he said would help to stabilize global oil prices.

The IEA, which represents the energy security interests of Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development countries, is hosting its biannual ministerial meeting in Paris.
The meeting comes amid fears that wafer-thin spare global crude capacity puts oil-thirsty nations at the mercy of a supply disruption as well as contributing to surging energy prices that could derail world economic growth.

Source: Dow Jones
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