6th Mar 2021

EU asks for help to guarantee energy supplies

The EU’s energy commissioner, Andris Piebalgs, has called on the oil cartel, Opec, to restart talks to raise the production ceiling of oil by half-a-million barrels a day.

During a two-day summit between the EU and the Gulf Co-operation Council in Kuwait over the weekend, the Commissioner pushed for increased oil production and asked for help to guarantee the continent’s future energy supply, the Financial Times reported.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

The call came as US oil prices hit a new record overnight of $57,70 a barrel, up 65 per cent from April last year.

"There is no crisis but [it is] not so comfortable a situation because competition for resources has increased," Mr Piebalgs was quoted saying.

"We should find the right policies – long-term and sustainable policies", which he said include diversifying sources and developing alternative forms of energy, along with a greater emphasis on reducing demand.

Opec President Sheikh Ahmad al-Fahd al-Sabah indicated on Saturday (2 April) he might start consulting member producers over a 500,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) increase to help cool the market, according to Reuters.

When Opec (the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) met in mid-March it was decided to raise oil production by 500,000 barrels a day. But the increased production has failed to bring prices down as competition among oil consuming nations is growing.

By 2030, the EU’s dependence on energy imports is expected to rise to 90 per cent for oil and 70 per cent for gas, according to the Financial Times.

"I've always doubted Opec's ability to ramp up production,'' said Gal Luft, executive director of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security, according to Bloomberg.

"Those who believed Opec all these years are eating their hats now. Fifty dollars a barrel is a fond memory now, and $60 is just a matter of time.''

The EU and Opec are set to hold a ministerial summit in Brussels in June.

Luxembourg tax scandal may prompt EU action

An investigation into Luxembourg's tax regime has uncovered how the Italian mafia, the Russian underworld, and billionaires attempt to stash away their wealth. The European Commission has put itself on standby amid suggestions changes to EU law may be needed.


Portugal vs Germany clash on EU corporate tax avoidance

Portugal's taking over the EU presidency puts the tax transparency law for corporations - which has been fought over for years - to a vote in the Council of Ministers. The resistance of the German government has failed.

Vietnam jails journalist critical of EU trade deal

A journalist who had demanded the EU postpone its trade deal with Vietnam until human rights improved has been sentenced to 15 years in jail. The EU Commission says it first needs to conduct a detailed analysis before responding.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council to host EU webinars on energy, digitalisation and antibiotic resistance
  2. UNESDAEU Code of Conduct can showcase PPPs delivering healthier more sustainable society
  3. CESIKlaus Heeger and Romain Wolff re-elected Secretary General and President of independent trade unions in Europe (CESI)
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersWomen benefit in the digitalised labour market
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersReport: The prevalence of men who use internet forums characterised by misogyny
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersJoin the Nordic climate debate on 17 November!

Latest News

  1. China and Russia abusing corona for geopolitics, Lithuania says
  2. Worries on Europe's infection surge, after six-week drop
  3. EU wants large firms to report on gender pay-gap or face fines
  4. EU Commission cannot hold Frontex to account
  5. Orbán leaves EPP group - the beginning of a long endgame
  6. 'Corporate due diligence'? - a reality check before EP votes
  7. Austrian ex-minister joins list of EU's pro-Kremlin lobbyists
  8. Internal Frontex probe to deliver final report this week

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us