ZUG, Switzerland, Sept. 25 (UPI) -- Assurances from Saudi Arabia that oil markets were well-supplied may be overstated following a drop in exports, analysis finds.
Concerns about rising energy prices prompted some Western leaders to consider tapping into strategic oil reserves. Riyadh offered assurances, however, that oil markets were well-balanced and inventories remain adequate.
The International Energy Agency reported that spare oil capacity in Saudi Arabia, however, was down more than 10 percent from last year's levels. The Joint Organization Data Initiative said July exports from the kingdom were decreasing as the country starts using more oil domestically.
The Wall Street Journal cites analysis from Swiss consulting firm Petromatrix that said the "spin" from Riyadh on oil markets was "not very credible when the supposed increase is coming after a sharp drop in exports.
Oil prices in mid-September moved to more than $115 a barrel for Brent crude contracts, up more than 25 percent from June. Bloomberg News reports a recent price decline, however, amid sustained concerns about the prospects for growth in the world economy.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, in its market report for September, said world oil demand growth for 2012 is forecast at 900,000 barrels per day, the same level predicted in its August report.