Global Crude Oil Market Is Adequately Supplied, IEA Says

The global oil market is adequately supplied and doesn’t require the release of emergency stockpiles, according to the International Energy Agency.

The agency is monitoring the market and “stands ready” to respond if there’s a major supply disruption, the Paris-based adviser to 28 energy-consuming nations said.

“The IEA is obviously concerned about the harmful effects of high oil prices on the global economic recovery,” Greg Frost, a Paris-based spokesman, said in an e-mailed statement. “Prices at these levels cause hardship both in IEA countries and especially emerging economies.”

The IEA coordinated the release of 60 million barrels of crude and oil products in June 2011 to offset lost supplies from Libya, where an uprising against Muammar Qaddafi almost halted the country’s oil exports. Brent fell 8 percent in the two days after the announcement of that intervention, the third use of reserves in the agency’s history.

Brent has climbed 12 percent since July 1 amid unrest in Egypt, declining supply from Libya and the escalating conflict in Syria. Brent for October delivery declined $1.45, or 1.2 percent, to $115.16 a barrel today on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London after reaching a six-month high yesterday.

Libyan Output

Libya’s oil production fell to one-eighth of its capacity as protests over pay and allegations of corruption spread to fields operated by Eni SpA and Repsol SA, according to executives at the state oil company. Output from the North African OPEC nation slumped to about 200,000 barrels a day, compared with 640,000 in August and its optimal capacity of 1.6 million, National Oil Corp. Chairman Nuri Berruien said in an interview Aug. 27 from Tripoli.

The prospect of an imminent attack on Syria faded as U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, the U.S.’s top ally, struggled to win parliamentary backing for military strikes that critics said echoed the push to war in Iraq.

The Obama administration is also laboring to marshal conclusive evidence backing its assertion that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was directly responsible for the attack, said three intelligence officials familiar with the situation.

Tensions in the Middle East have fanned concern that shipments from oil-producing nations may be disrupted. The region accounted for 35 percent of global oil output in the first quarter of this year, according to IEA data.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, responsible for 40 percent of world supplies and whose members include Libya, declined to comment yesterday on the impact of the supply disruption.

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