IEA invites Russia to join its ranks: report

19th June 2011, Comments 0 comments

The International Energy Agency (IEA), which represents consumer countries, has invited Russia and other producer nations to join it, Executive Director Nobuo Tanaka said in a newspaper interview Sunday.

The Observer weekly said the move was a desperate attempt to broker a deal between buyers and sellers over soaring crude prices.

"We all really have a common interest. You cannot take oil in isolation from gas security, energy efficiency and electricity from renewables," Tanaka said.

"The issues of energy security and climate change need to be tackled collectively and we think Russia and other key producers can learn a lot from (the IEA's) experience."

The 28-member IEA was created in response to the 1973-4 oil crisis, to help industrialised countries coordinate a collective response to disruptions in oil supply.

The Paris-based organisation last week expressed disappointment with the decision by the oil cartel OPEC not to boost output quotas given persistently high prices, supply shocks and rising seasonal demand.

Russia, an energy superpower, is viewed by the IEA as a "key non-member" country along with China and India, but Tanaka said it would be a good thing if Moscow became a full member.

He raised this with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin on Saturday, the newspaper said, and Sechin had indicated that he might come to the next ministerial meeting of the IEA in October.

Discussing a timeframe for membership, Tanaka said: "I don't know when (it) will happen. It can't be done in a day, and may take years, but Russia can benefit from our knowledge."

He has also had preliminary talks with Saudi Arabia and other Middle East oil producers about playing a role in the IEA, the paper said.

© 2011 AFP

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