The International Energy Agency said today that it will release 60m barrels of
oil from emergency stocks in the next 30 days to offset supply problems caused
by the shutdown of Libyan crude exports due to the civil war.
The Paris-based IEA is the energy watchdog for 28 industrialised countries
The IEA said the tight supply situation was becoming a threat to a fragile
global economic recovery.
"I expect this action will contribute to well-supplied markets and to ensuring a
soft landing for the world economy,"
IEA chief Nobuo Tanaka said.
The US Department of Energy said it would release 30m barrels as
its contribution toward the measure.
Total oil stocks in IEA member countries amount to over 4.1bn
barrels, and nearly 1.6bn barrels of this are public stocks held exclusively for
emergency purposes. IEA net oil-importing countries have a legal obligation to
hold emergency oil reserves equivalent to at least 90 days of net oil
imports. These countries are holding stock levels well above this minimum
amount, currently at 146 days of net imports.
“Today, for the third time in the
history of the International Energy Agency [founed in 1974], our member
countries have decided to release stocks,” Tanaka
said. “I expect this action will contribute to
well-supplied markets and to ensuring a soft landing for the world economy.”
In London Brent crude fell $6 or 5.43% a barrel
to $108; in New York, West Texas Intermediate dipped $4.32 or 4.53% to $91.