EU agrees to publish weekly oil stocks
European Union members agree in principle Tuesday to publish weekly accounts of their oil stocks in an effort to boost market and price stability.10 July 2008
BRUSSELS - European Union member states agreed in principle Tuesday to publish weekly accounts of their oil stocks in an effort to boost market and price stability, the EU's presidency said.
The finance ministers of the bloc's 27 member states agreed in principle to the measure at their last regular meeting before the summer break in Brussels, French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde, whose country currently holds the EU's rotating presidency, said.
The measure has been on the table for three years, but it jumped up the agenda earlier this year as oil prices soared to record levels, sparking protests across Europe.
It is one of a number of measures which EU members have since revived in an effort to make oil markets more transparent and predictable, and therefore reduce the scope for speculators to drive up prices.
Speculation has regularly been mentioned as one reason for the sudden oil-price rises. However, observers say that the main reason is simply the growth in global demand.
The European Commission, the EU's executive, is now expected to make a legal proposal on the issue in October. That proposal would then have to be formally approved by EU members.
[dpa / Expatica]