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Oil producing countries stand by oil supplies

Leading oil producing countries have promised that adequate supplies of oil will reach world markets despite the beginning of military operations against Iraq, the IEA said.

india Updated: Mar 20, 2003 15:00 IST

Leading oil producing countries have promised that adequate supplies of oil will reach world markets despite the beginning of military operations against Iraq, the International Energy Agency said on Thursday.

"Producers are confident they can keep the market adequately supplied and we've been assured that they will make every effort to do so," IEA executive director Claude Mandil said in a statement.

"We are in close communication with our member countries, with major oil producers and with OPEC," he said.

"We appreciate steps producers have taken to prevent any shortage in world supply, earlier this year and again now."

The IEA, an agency of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and based in Paris, groups 26 countries that import oil. It was created in 1974 after the first oil shock when the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries increased prices sharply.

But Mandil repeated that the IEA was ready to use strategic reserves of oil if shortages should occur.

"We're determined to promote stability in world oil markets and remain ready to reinforce producers' efforts should the need arise," he said.

The price of oil has fallen sharply in the last few days on expectations that the war against Iraq will be short and will have only a small effect on supplies of oil, notably because OPEC, and notably Saudi Arabia, has promised to compensate for a lack of oil from Iraq.

First Published: Mar 20, 2003 15:00 IST