In an attempt to allay global concerns, the leaders of the Group of Eight (G-8) major economies on Saturday said they were monitoring the crude oil markets and stand ready to act if and when necessary.
“We are monitoring the situation closely and stand ready to call upon the International Energy Agency to take appropriate action to ensure that the market is fully and timely supplied,” said G-8 leaders in a statement.
The supplies are expected to worsen in July when the US and the EU sanctions come into effect in full swing.
Countries such as India and China, which depend on imports to meet their oil needs and mostly from Iran, are likely to be affected as they are shifting to other suppliers.
Leaders — from the US, Germany, France, Japan, Russia, Italy, the UK and Canada — concluded a summit at the presidential retreat in Camp David on Saturday.
Though the main focus of the meeting was European financial crisis, the leaders discussed many other issues, including oil.
“In the face of increasing disruptions in the supply of oil, we agreed that we must closely monitor global energy markets,” President Barack Obama said in a statement.
When asked what could the IEA do, if asked to intervene, White House official Michael Froman said, “It has processes underway for coordinating releases of strategic reserves.”
The IEA can ask its 28 member countries to release oil from their stock of reserves to deal with disruptions in the global oil supplies, as Iran faced sanctions.
Though India is not a member of the IEA, it has announced that it has a stock of reserves equivalent to 90 days of oil requirements, as is expect of regular members of the agency.