Eleven nations that guzzle nearly two-thirds of the world’s energy called on Sunday for an urgent hike in global oil production as host Japan warned the world could plunge into recession.
Energy ministers from the Group of Eight (G8) industrial powers met in the northern Japanese city of Aomori with officials from China, India and South Korea in the wake of a record spike in oil prices.
The 11 nations represented here voiced “serious concerns” over the level of oil prices and said there was an “urgent need for increased and timely investment in the energy sector.”
In a joint statement, they called for boosts to their own production and asked major oil producers “to increase investment to keep markets well supplied in response to rising world demand.”
The countries also agreed to establish a new framework – called the International Partnership for Energy Efficiency Cooperation (IPEEC) – under which they can share ideas about how to save energy.
The first meeting is to be held this year. The 11-nation talks came after oil prices on Friday posted their highest ever one-day gain of nearly $11, hitting a new record of $138.54 a barrel in New York trade.
“If we leave this situation as it is, it could lead to a recession of the world economy,” Japan’s energy minister Akira Amari said as he opened the meeting. Oil prices have soared five-fold since 2003.
Output: opec firm on stand
Opec members saw no need to pump more oil in response to last week’s double-digit surge in oil prices to over $139 a barrel that top exporter Saudi Arabia described as unjustified.
More pain was coming for consuming economies hurting from record fuel costs as prices were likely to climb further, officials from the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) said.