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Europe

Renewed Calls for EU Oil Reserve

The EU energy commissioner renewed her calls for a European oil reserve following record high prices for crude this week.

The EU energy commissioner has renewed her calls for a European oil reserve following record high prices for crude this week. In a statement Loyola de Palacio called for "a concerted European approach to the issue of security of energy supplies." She added that the "strengthening of the EU’s energy partnerships with the main surrounding suppliers and the European system of security stocks are both indispensable parts of such an approach." Palacio's comments came as oil prices topped $44 (€35.90) a barrel on Thursday afternoon following fears of a potential loss of supply from Russia. The Spaniard points out that in 2002, her department had presented proposals "designed to reinforce the European system of security stocks and crisis measures." Under those proposals, EU oil stocks would be boosted from 90 to 120 days. EU stocks can currently only be shared under the rules of the International Energy Agency (IEA). Such proposals, which would need to be approved by the parliament and member states, would permit the stocks to be used if an oil price shock threatened general economic growth. (EUobserver.com)