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The International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Monday that it had carried out the broadest ever emergency response exercise, with countries representing around 70 percent of global oil demand taking part in the exercise, compared to just 46 percent if the response plan drill had been limited only to IEA members.
As many as 44 countries took part in the emergency response exercise (ERE) between February 5 and 9, 2018, whose purpose was to simulate how the IEA coordinates the release of emergency oil stockpiles in the event of an oil supply disruption.
This year’s exercise featured all 29 IEA member countries; IEA Accession countries Chile and Mexico; Association countries China, India, Indonesia, Morocco, and Thailand; and via the European Commission, the eight EU countries that are not members of the IEA.
The 44 participating countries that represent some 70 percent of global oil demand tested communication within and between participating countries and the IEA Secretariat under time pressure, as well as the emergency data reporting capabilities of participating countries. After being briefed on the IEA emergency response procedures during an oil supply crisis, participants worked to develop strategies to respond to a realistic, hypothetical supply disruption scenario.
In accordance with the Agreement on an International Energy Programme (I.E.P.), each IEA member is obliged to hold emergency oil stocks equivalent to at least 90 days of net oil imports. In case of a severe oil supply disruption, IEA members may decide to release these stocks to the market as part of a collective action.
Since the IEA was created in 1974 in the wake of the 1973 oil crisis, there have been three collective actions in emergency responses. The first was in the buildup to the Gulf War in 1991; the second was after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita damaged offshore oil rigs, pipelines, and oil refineries in the Gulf of Mexico in 2005; and the third was in response to the prolonged disruption of oil supply caused by the civil war in Libya in 2011.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com