Saudi Arabia to the rescue?

Feb. 25, 2011 at 8:09 AM
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RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- There are few reasons for global oil markets to react drastically because of the missing crude output from Libya, a source from Saudi Arabia said.

The International Energy Agency announced Thursday that there "appears" about 1 percent of the global daily consumption of oil, less than 750,000 barrels per day, is missing from the market, apparently as a consequence of the crisis in Libya.

"Both consumers and producers have tools at hand to deliver adequate oil to the market," the agency stressed. "Producers hold ample spare capacity."

A Saudi official was quoted by the Platts news service on condition of anonymity as saying his country was "willing and capable" of replacing the missing crude.

"There is no reason for the price to go up," he said.

Europe said the Saudis were making up for short falls in the region. Iran could emerge as an alternate supplier though Russia, the world's biggest oil producer, said none of its pipeline operators have applied to increase shipments to Western markets, Platts adds.

Italian energy company Eni, one of the largest foreign producers in Libya, said it shut down most of its production but said any missing oil was "not a huge thing."

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