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IEA says members to release 60M barrels from emergency oil reserves

PARIS, France - The International Energy Agency (IEA) said Tuesday that member countries had agreed to release 60 million barrels of oil from their emergency reserves to stabilize the market after Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The decision -- taken by 31 member countries of the IEA's governing board -- aims to "send a unified and strong message to global oil markets that there will be no shortfall in supplies" as a result of the Ukraine conflict, it said in a statement.

Ministers "expressed solidarity with the people of Ukraine and their democratically elected government in the face of Russia's appalling and unprovoked violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity," it added.

The invasion came "against a backdrop of already tight global oil markets, heightened price volatility, commercial inventories that are at their lowest level since 2014", the statement noted.

Producers had a limited ability to provide more supply in the short term, it added.

In the markets, meanwhile, oil prices surged in London trading.

US benchmark oil contract West Texas Intermediate soared more than 10 percent in value.

WTI reached $106.29 per barrel and European benchmark Brent North Sea crude surged more than nine percent to $107.44 -- with both levels the highest in more than seven years.  --  Agence France-Presse