Oil pump jacks are pictured in the Kern River oilfield in Bakersfield, California. Jonathan Alcorn | Reuters
The head of the world's leading energy authoritye said some countries have failed to take a useful stance in calming the surge in oil and gas prices, criticizing "artificial sealing" in energy markets.
"[A] factor that I would like to highlight that has caused these high prices is the position of some of the major suppliers of oil and gas, and some countries have not, in our view, taken a useful position in this context. "said Fatih Birol, executive director of the International Energy Agency, during a press webinar on Wednesday.
" In fact, some of the main tensions on Today's markets can be seen as man-made tensions ... because in today's oil markets we see almost 6 million barrels per day of unused production capacity. key producers, countries of the world 'OPEC +. "
His comments come as energy analysts assess the effectiveness of a US- " is committed to freeing oil from strategic reserves to thwart soaring fuel prices.
In the first such move, President Joe Biden announced a coordinated release of oil between the United States, India, China, Japan, South Korea and United Kingdom
The United States will release 50 million barrels of the strategic oil reserve. Of that total, 32 million barrels will be traded in the coming months, while 18 million barrels will be an acceleration of a previously authorized sale.
OPEC producers and non-OPEC, an influential group often referred to as OPEC +, have repeatedly rejected calls from the United States to increase support and ease prices in recent months.
Birol said theIEA acknowledged the announcement made by the United States in parallel with other countries, acknowledging that soaring oil prices had placed a burden on consumers around the world.
" It also puts additional pressure on inflation at a time when the economic recovery remains uneven and still faces a number of risks, "he added.
Birol said that he wanted to clarify that it was not, however, a collective response from the IEA. The Paris-based energy agency only acts to tap energy stocks in the event of a major supply disruption, he said.
'A new unexplored price war '
Oil prices have jumped more than 50% since the start of throughout the year, reaching multi-year highs as demand exceeded supply. The momentum behind the price rally even tempted some forecasters to predict a return to the market. $ 100 "a barrel of oil , although everything the world does not share this point of view.
Futures contracts on the international benchmark "Brent crude was trading at $ 82.27 a barrel on Monday afternoon in London, down around 0.1%, while futures on the West "Texas Intermediate s 'stood at $ 78.47, little changed for the session.
"A new kind of unexplored price war is brewing in the oil market ", Louise Dickson, senior analyst, said Wednesday oil markets at Rystad Energy, in a research note.
"The world's largest oil consumers have promised an unprecedented and relatively large release of strategic reserves into the market forstifle high oil prices amid a pandemic recovery. "
Rystad Energy said that if oil comes out of the United States, China, India, Japan, from South Korea and the UK started as early as mid-December, it could be enough to exceed crude demand as early as next month.
"This begs the question o How timing is strategic for Biden, Xi and others if a fundamental reprieve is already near in Q1 22 "said Dickson.
" The release may be one too late, this late , because the oil market was the most tight and needed supply relief in September, ”she added.
- CNBC's Pippa Stevens contributed to this report .