The global oil market remains well supplied with ample stocks in the aftermath of attacks on Saudi Arabia, the International Energy Agency's (IEA) Executive Director Fatih Birol said Wednesday.
IEA member countries hold about 1.55 billion barrels of emergency stocks, which amount to 15 days of total world oil demand, Birol said in his speech during a webinar held by the EIA.
In addition, IEA member countries hold 2.9 billion barrels of industry stocks as of the end of July that can cover more than a month of world oil demand, he added.
Birol noted that IEA has released stocks three times in history -- during the Gulf War in 1991, after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and in response to the prolonged disruption during Libyan civil war in 2011.
"Currently, markets are well supplied, and at this point we do not see the need to take such an action," Birol said.
After Saudi Arabian national oil company Saudi Aramco's two facilities were attacked on Saturday, the kingdom's oil production fell by 5.7 million barrels per day (mbpd), which is more than half of its total output of 9.8 mbpd.
Newly appointed Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said late Tuesday his country's oil production will reach 11 mbpd by the end of September, and will continue to rise to 12 mbpd by the end of November.
"Saudi Arabia has an impeccable track record of full commitment to its customers. And, they have proven again and again to be a reliable supplier. I am sure they will continue to live up to their reputation," Birol said.
He added that the recent events are a reminder that oil security cannot be taken for granted, even at times when markets are well supplied.
"Energy security remains an indispensable pillar of the global economy. This is why the IEA remains vigilant about the risk of disruptions to global oil supplies, whether they are caused by extreme weather events such as hurricanes, major technical outages, or geopolitical crises, and stands ready to act when needed," he said.
Birol stressed that oil security needs greater attention of policy makers around the world, and added IEA will continue to highlight this situation.
By Ovunc Kutlu