PARIS, Dec. 13 (UPI) -- The International Energy Agency in its monthly report called on members of OPEC to keep production levels static through 2012 given unrest in the Middle East.
The IEA said November production from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries reached a three-year high at more than 30 million barrels per day. This came largely from increased output from Saudi Arabia and Libya.
The IEA warned, however, that stocks held by major economic countries fell because of market strains brought on by supply disruptions from Libya during the war. The group said this meant OPEC needed to keep production at current levels to rebuild inventories through 2012, the Financial Times reports.
Crude oil stocks in Europe, the largest consumer of Libyan crude oil, fell to an 11-year low, the Financial Times notes, because of the war.
The IEA called on member states during the summer to release strategic crude oil stockpiles because of market disruptions brought on by a war-struck Libyan oil sector.
Both the IEA and OPEC said demand, however, was slow because major economies were having a difficult time emerging from a recession that, in 2008, erased $100 from the per-barrel price of oil.
The Financial Times notes that Saudi officials said from Vienna that they were content with current production levels. OPEC has a regularly scheduled meeting Wednesday in Vienna.