Major oil states including Russia and Saudi Arabia have been urged to ramp up production in a bid to bring prices down to “reasonable levels”.
Fatih Birol, head of the International Energy Agency (IEA), called on members of the Opec+ cartel to “make the necessary steps in order to comfort the global oil markets”.
Mr Birol took aim at Russia in particular, saying the country could “easily” increase output to Europe by around 15pc.
The US and other nations – including the UK – this week announced plans to release millions of barrels of oil from strategic reserves after Opec shunned repeated calls to speed up output to help tame prices.
The intervention is aimed at bringing down soaring prices at the pumps that are driving up inflation and eating into household finances.
Mr Birol said: “The rise in oil prices is placing a burden on consumers in these countries and also in several emerging countries. “It also puts additional pressure on inflation in a period where economic recovery remains uneven and still faces a number of risks.”
The move threatens to ignite a row between major consuming and producing nations as the two sides grapple for control of the increasingly turbulent global energy market.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that Russia and Saudi Arabia were considering a pause to their planned production increases in retaliation.
The group is due to review its strategy at a meeting in December.
The coordinated move to release more oil reserves has so far failed to tame prices, with crude oil continuing to rise as the plans were deemed less ambitious than expected.