Amid anticipation, IEA ends Libyan action

Sept. 16, 2011 at 7:09 AM   |   Comments

VIENNA, Sept. 16 (UPI) -- With Libya expecting crude oil exports sometime next week, the International Energy Agency declared an end to its response to the supply disruption.

Fighting in Libya left oil production from one of Africa's top oil producers shuttered as high energy prices dragged on world economies. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries during its meeting in June kept official production quotas in check, prompting the IEA to call on member states to release oil from emergency reserves to offset Libyan production declines.

The IEA governing board said a combination of action from its member states and weakened expectations for global oil demand growth prompted it to terminate its collective response to the Libyan supply disruption.

Both OPEC and the IEA, in market reports this month, said a weak economy was in part to blame for a slowdown in the demand for oil.

An official with Libya's state-owned Arabian Gulf Oil Co. was quoted in The Wall Street Journal as saying crude oil from the Sarir field, the company's largest, was headed through a pipeline and destined for export.

"The first batch (of exports), it will be in 10 days approximately," the official said.

Shipping officials told Bloomberg News this week, however, that one of its oil tankers had left a Libyan port empty.

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