“This decision would have been more timely if made when the disruption in Libyan oil supplies first occurred,” said Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.). “However, I hope it helps deflate speculative froth in the markets and further settles prices back to levels where most experts believe they should be.”
Oil fell by more than $4 per barrel on NYMEX Thursday morning, and is currently trading at $91.21.
The IEA estimates that the unrest in Libya had removed 132 million barrels of prized light, sweet crude from the market by the end of May.
“The normal seasonal increase in refiner demand expected for this summer will exacerbate the shortfall further. Greater tightness in the oil market threatens to undermine the fragile global economic recovery,” the IEA said in announcing the release from strategic reserves.