Oil and gas stockpiling key to energy security: officials

SINGAPORE, April 17, 2008 (AFP) – Asia’s top security forum should consider building strategic oil and gas stockpiles as part of efforts to ensure steady supplies in emergencies, officials recommended after a meeting ended Thursday. Senior officials of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) held two days of talks in Singapore devoted to the issue of energy security. The meeting came ahead of the annual meeting of ARF foreign ministers to be held in Singapore in July.

Fabrizio Barbaso, a European Commission official who attended the meeting, said delegates outlined several key strategies on how to ensure energy security amid record high oil prices and geopolitical threats that could disrupt oil supplies.

One strategy was emergency preparedness “so that in case of a crisis or disruption… appropriate mechanisms of information and consultation can be set up so that people can be duly informed,” Barbaso told AFP after the meeting.

As part of emergency preparedness, the delegates discussed creation of strategic stockpiles for oil and possibly natural gas, said Barbaso, deputy director general of the Directorate General Transport and Energy at the Brussels-based European Commission.

Their recommendations are expected to be fur