IEA says ready to take action on strategic stocks if needed

PARIS Wed May 23, 2012 11:04am BST

PARIS May 23 (Reuters) - The International Energy Agency is monitoring oil markets and is ready to take action to release strategic oil reserves if needed, IEA's Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven said at an OECD event on Wednesday, reiterating the body's recent stance.

"We have to be on the alert, we have to monitor the situation as it is and if necessary ... are ready to take action if necessary," she said.

Leaders of the Group of Eight major economies raised the pressure on Iran on Saturday, signaling their readiness to tap into emergency oil stockpiles quickly this summer if tougher new sanctions on Tehran threaten to strain supplies. (Reporting by Leigh Thomas; Writing by Michel Rose; Editing by Muriel Boselli)