IEA Comments on Reported Iraq Oil Cut

(Paris) — 1 December 2000

Commenting on reports that Iraq had suspended oil exports, Mr. Robert Priddle, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency, said this morning that the importance of this development should not be exaggerated. “This possibility has been much discussed and will come as no surprise to the market”, he said. “Major oil producers have declared their readiness to act to meet any serious shortages”, he added. He pointed out that some oil-producing countries hold significant stocks in Europe, the Caribbean and elsewhere, close to the major consuming markets, while Iraqi oil exports take from 10 to 30 days to reach their destination.

Mr. Priddle reaffirmed that the IEA is ready to take action very quickly if the situation warrants. The IEA Governing Board, in its Press Communiqué of 4 October, confirmed “the availability of security stocks in IEA countries and their readiness for use in the event of significant supply disruption,” and “Members governments’ commitment to take co-ordinated action in such a situation.”

The IEA was founded in 1974, after the first oil shock. As an autonomous agency within the framework of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the IEA seeks to ensure stable and affordable energy supplies to its 24 Member countries.

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