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IEA Strategic Oil Stocks Can Save World

IEA members hold almost four billion barrels of crude oil in reserve

The International Energy Agency said Thursday that thanks to the strategic stocks managed by the IEA, it could compensate an eventual loss in Iran's oil exports for one year and a half.

"If ever, for whatever reason, there was a loss of supplies from Iran, which represent around 2.7 million barrels per day, strategic stocks managed by the IEA ... would be able to compensate for those lost 2.7 million bpd for a year and a half," IEA's executive director Claude Mandil said.

"I therefore say to countries mandated to negotiate with Iran, I do not know what your plans are, but when you consider the different options, you do not have to worry about an eventual loss of Iranian oil because you have the means to deal with it," he said, noting "there is no link between the oil and the nuclear issue".

The 26-member IEA, created in November 1974 amid an energy crisis in the wake of the 1973 Yom Kippur war, seeks to coordinate and monitor energy policies in its members.

IEA members hold almost four billion barrels of crude oil in reserve -- including one third emergency stock -- the equivalent of at least 118 days of imports.

The Western countries fear that if the United Nations levies sanctions on Iran over its nuclear research program, the big oil exporter would retaliate by suspending oil supply