The International Energy Agency (IEA) has not yet decided whether to conduct a second release of emergency oil reserves by member countries, executive director Nobuo Tanaka said on Tuesday.
The IEA in June announced a 60 million-barrel one-month release from emergency stockpiles in a temporary measure to fill a supply gap from missing Libyan output, the third such move in its history. The step followed the failure of leading OPEC member Saudi Arabia, traditionally a price moderate and U.S. ally, to convince the group to increase supplies.
"In a preemptive move to avoid a serious risk scenario, we released our reserves and we understand the release was a success for now," Mr. Tanaka told Reuters on the sidelines of a news conference.
The IEA is expected to confer with its member countries by July 23 to decide whether to draw further from emergency oil stocks. Mr. Tanaka also said the IEA was checking how long top exporter Saudi Arabia would continue to increase its oil output and how much of the released oil had reached the markets.
There is no sign yet of the kind of shortage to mandate another dip into the West's emergency oil reserves when a 30-day deadline for assessing the impact of the first release expires at the end of this week, traders and analysts say.
Germany and Italy are expected to oppose any second release of emergency oil reserves by the IEA because they were not much in favour of the decision in June, sources have said.
In defiance of a refusal by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to back an output rise, Saudi Arabia independently increased its output, which hit 9.8 million barrels per day (bpd) in June, a senior Gulf OPEC delegate told Reuters.
The previous release by the IEA was in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina devastated oil infrastructure in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. To date, the only other release in the 37-year history of the IEA was at the time of the first Gulf War.