International Energy Agency

The International Energy Agency (IEA) was formed in 1974 under the umbrella of the OECD as a response to the turmoil of the 1973 Oil Embargo. The mission of the IEA at its inception was to ensure a stable supply of oil to the OECD countries.[1] Over time the mandate of the IEA has evolved to include the compilation and distribution of information and statistics to the OECD countries as well as Russia, India and China.

Today, the IEA focuses on ensuring the supply of clean and affordable energy for the world. Energy security, economic development, environmental awareness and worldwide engagement are aspects that the IEA focuses on in order to promote their goals.[1]

The IEA has 29 member states, primarily in North America and Europe. The member states of the IEA are required to hold a certain amount of oil in reserve to ensure the steady supply and to avoid incident such as those in the 70s. The mandatory reserve requirement means that in the event of a shock to the supply of oil, the IEA states can respond effectively to correct the negative effects.

The IEA in Action

One example of the IEA providing stability to the oil supply and market in in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The IEA was able to ensure stability by increasing the supply of oil to the market by 60 million barrels (over 30 days). The injection of extra oil reserves into the market kept prices from rising and various oil products such as gasoline physically available.[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 IEA. "Our mission." [Online], Available:, 2016 [July 8, 2016].
  2. IEA. "Contributions of IEA Member Countries to the Hurricane Katrina Oil Supply Disruption." [Online], Available:, Sept. 7, 2005 [July, 8, 2016].