KARUIZAWA, JAPAN (Reuters) - Attacks on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman threaten global energy security, Fatih Birol, the executive director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), said on Friday.
Thursday's tanker attacks stoked concern of reduced flows of crude on one of the world's key shipping routes, pushing up oil prices as much as 4.5%.
"This is a major concern for global energy security, for global oil security and for global energy markets," Birol told reporters.
"We are monitoring events very closely," he added, saying the agency stood ready to act if and when necessary.
Birol was speaking at the release of an IEA report on hydrogen in Karuizawa northwest of Tokyo, where Group of 20 energy and environment ministers are meeting this week in the run up to a summit this month.
(Reporting by Reporting by Yuka Obayashi and Kevin; Writing by Aaron Sheldrick; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)