‘Saudi can supply any gap’

2011-03-02 14:39

Warsaw, Poland – Saudi Arabia is capable of offsetting any shortfall in global oil supplies due to the current turmoil in Libya, the head of the International Energy Agency (IEA) said today.

Saudi Arabia “can supply any gap. Even if Libya may stop exportation totally, Saudi (Arabia) can offset or make up this oil demand,” Nobuo Tanaki told reporters.

A popular revolt against Libyan strongman Muammer Gaddafi’s four-decade-old regime has hit Libya’s oil production of around 1.6 million barrels a day, some 85% of which normally goes to Europe, according to the IEA.

Saudi Arabia, Opec’s largest producer, said on Monday it was “committed to the stability of the market” and to ensuring that oil supplies remain available to offset the fall in Libyan oil exports.

“The current situation is very different from 2008 when the price went up to $147 because we have plenty of spare capacity in the producing countries like Saudi (Arabia),” Tanaki said.

“We don’t have to worry too much about the supply side,” he stressed, adding again that “globally we have plenty of spare capacity”.

The head of the Paris-based IEA did, however, express concern about oil prices hitting $100 per barrel on concerns at the problems in Libya and the popular unrest across the Middle East and North Africa.

“We are concerned about what is happening in North Africa and the Middle East. That is making the market very nervous about future interruptions,” the IAE chief admitted.

Tanaki warned that the global economic recovery could be hampered – particularly in emerging economies – if the current $100 price tag were to last throughout the year.

“If the $100 price continues all through this year, it will make harder the economic recovery, especially in emerging economies,” the IEA chief said.

New York’s benchmark crude oil futures contract shot back above $100 today due to the unrest in the Middle East while Brent crude was above $115.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.