The International Energy Agency (IEA) likely will call on countries to release oil reserves to combat rising prices and maintain the integrity of Iranian sanctions, according to trade journal Petroleum Economist.
With oil prices spiking 30 percent since June, unnamed IEA sources said the agency is poised to dip into Western nations’ strategic reserves as early as September.
The IEA believes releasing reserves will preserve confidence in international sanctions imposed against Iran for its nuclear activity. Those sanctions have crippled Iran’s ability to export oil while at the same time constraining international supply and forcing prices upward.
But the timing has political overtones in the United States. High gasoline prices could hurt Obama, and GOP challenger Mitt Romney has argued the president’s energy policies restrict fossil fuel drilling that would bring gasoline costs down.