The executive director of International Energy Agency has released a statement this morning that is pushing crude prices down further today:
The oil market has been tightening in recent months; crude oil prices are very high again, and petrol prices have reached a record high level in some member countries. The International Energy Agency, like many others, is concerned by the impact of these high prices while the global economic recovery remains fragile.
The IEA is closely monitoring market developments and will remain in close contact with member countries to exchange views about the oil-market situation. As we have mentioned many times, the IEA was created to respond to serious physical supply disruptions, and we remain ready to act if market conditions so warrant.
This is a clear indication that the group’s members have reached at least some accord on another release from members’ strategic reserves. With elections on tap in France and later this year in the US and next year in Germany, rising pump prices threaten the re-election hopes of the current governments and nothing would soothe voters more than a drop, even if it’s temporary, in gasoline prices.
Crude prices have sinking again today, with WTI crude down about -2% at $103.28/barrel and Brent crude down about -1% at $122.81/barrel. US pump prices are $0.035 higher today than a week ago according to gasbuddy.com.