“Soaring oil prices risk recession”: FT.

The IEA warns cost of oil imports will surge to $1.5tn this year if crude prices stay at their current levels. Fatih Birol says that for the EU high oil prices are now overtaking the sovereign debt crisis as the biggest problem. The EU is set to spend a record $502bn this year on net imports of oil, up from $472bn in 2011: 2.8% of GDP. between 2000 and 2010 it was spending on average 1.7 per cent of GDP on oil imports. Birol: “The current price levels are on average higher than the awful year of 2008 [when oil hit a record high of $147 a barrel], and as such have the capacity to tip the global economy back into recession.” FT: “Saudi Arabia has pledged to increase production and exports to make up for the shortfall from Iran. But that will eat into its spare capacity – the cushion of additional production that it keeps in reserve for supply crises. Some analysts already worry that Saudi Arabia’s spare capacity has fallen to dangerously low levels, reducing the amount of redundancy in the system.”