June 29, 2011 / 5:33 PM / 6 years ago

IEA may decide on extending oil release by mid-July

A labourer works amid oil containers at a wholesale fuel market in Kolkata April 7, 2011. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri/Files

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - The International Energy Agency could decide by mid-July whether the release of strategic oil reserves needs to be extended for a month or two, an official said.

The 28-member IEA announced last week a plan to release 60 million barrels over an initial 30 days to fill the gap in supplies left by the disruption to Libya’s output.

Richard Jones, deputy executive director of the IEA, said he believed the release would be temporary since demand would likely drop in the fourth quarter.

“We do believe it could be temporary but we have to see how the market evolves. There could be other disruptions, for example, we are compensating for the losses in Libya,” Jones said at an event in Mexico City.

A decision on whether to extend the release could be made around the third week of July, he said.

“It will be up to our member countries, they could decide to continue it for a month or two. I don’t see that we’ll need to continue it for very long because we see demand declining in the fourth quarter, so we think it’s a temporary measure.”

Reporting by Mica Rosenberg; Editing by Dale Hudson

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