The International Energy Agency (IEA) announced on 15 September that is has stopped releasing stockpiles into the market in response to an interruption of Libyan supply.

The Paris-based IEA, an organisation representing the interests of the 28 most prominent net oil importing countries, decided to release 60 million tonnes of crude into the market from 23 June, as the civil war in Libya had caused oil production in Africa’s largest producer to come to a standstill.

The decision to end the so-called Libya collective action was taken by the IEA Governing Board as it met over two days from 14 September.

Before the outbreak of hostilities in February, Libya produced 1.6 million barrels a day (b/d). Since Gaddafi has been driven from the capital, oil production has resumed, albeit at much lower levels than before the conflict.

Oil exports from Libya will resume within 10 days, Libyan National Oil Corporation Director Nuri Beruin said on the same day the IEA announced its decision.

The release of the IEA stockpiles was intended to prevent crude prices from spiralling as result of the shortfall from Libya, and so protect the global economic recovery.

Of 60 million barrels, 38 million barrels were released from public stocks and 22 million barrels by relaxing the industry stockholding regulations. Public stocks were taken up by the market over the course of July and August.