Reinaldo Figueredo, Venezuela's foreign minister, said Friday that "concerted action" between oil-producing and large-scale consumers is needed to put a lid on rising oil prices and avoid an energy crisis.
In an interview with United Press International, the minister praised President Bush's decision to tap the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve but stressed all industrialized nations should use their stockpiles."We most certainly agree with President Bush on this matter. But now it is important to see if all the other large consumer nations also start using their reserves, if the International Energy Agency goes along," said Figueredo.
In Paris, the IEA asked Friday that its 21 member countries ready their reserves for possible use.
"If we want to avoid an energy crisis, then we must make a concerted effort to avoid it," added Figueredo, speaking for his country, Latin America's largest oil exporter. Venezuela has raised daily production by 25 percent from 2 million barrels, reacting to the shortage caused by the Persian Gulf crisis.
The minister added that "if the large developed nations would dip into their oil inventories, they could contribute toward stabilizing oil prices."