DETROIT (Reuters) - Energy ministers from the world's richest countries, meeting against the backdrop of Middle East turmoil, agreed on Friday to a series of initiatives they hope will protect economies from price shocks and lessen risks of energy supply disruptions.
After a meeting of the Group of Eight countries, which consume more than half the world's energy, U.S. Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham and Canadian Natural Resources Minister Herb Dhaliwal said talks focused largely on energy security following a 30-percent surge in oil prices this year.
"We agreed on the importance of providing adequate protection for our energy facilities as well as the importance of having multiple links between suppliers and consumers to reduce our vulnerability to disruption of energy supplies," Abraham told a news conference.
He spoke of the need among major consuming countries to maintain adequate emergency oil stockpiles as well as convince developing nations to build and maintain similar reserves.
The ministers also agreed to more frequent talks between major oil consumers and producers, including OPEC members, to add more transparency to oil markets, Abraham said.
The G8 includes the United States, Canada, Britain, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, and Russia. The Detroit meeting was one of several ministerial gatherings leading up to the G8 leaders' summit in Kananaskis, Alberta in June.
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