International Energy Agency says it will release 60m barrels of oil from emergency stocks in the next 30 days



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 including Ireland.

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.