IEA: IRAQI OIL ISN'T RISK
The International Energy Agency said Friday Iraqi oil supplies aren't at immediate risk, though the return of oil exports from the country's north look increasingly elusive.
The oil market has been focused on events in Iraq since Islamist militants seized control of the northern city of Mosul Tuesday. Crude prices shot higher this week, climbing to their highest level since September as news emerged that the militants had made rapid gains across northern Iraq, raising concerns about oil supply.
Iraqi oil supply is crucial to meeting growing global oil demand in the coming years, with the IEA predicting roughly 60% of the growth in oil production capacity from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries in the next decade will come from Iraq.
However, in its closely watched oil market report, the IEA said that provided the conflict in Iraq doesn't spread further, it is unlikely to put additional oil supplies at risk.
Iraq hasn't exported any oil from its north since March due to repeated attacks on its pipeline to Turkey, but the bulk of its oil production is concentrated in the far south of the country and has been on the rise in recent months.
The turmoil in Iraq adds to the challenges already facing OPEC as it contends with chronic supply disruptions in several of its members. Political unrest in Libya has cut the country's oil output to a fraction of its pre-civil war levels and Iranian output remains constrained by western sanctions.
Until now, the supply disruptions have been offset by record growth in non-OPEC supply, but the IEA said pressure on OPEC to pump more oil will ratchet up in the second half of the year.
The Paris-based energy watchdog increased its forecast for the demand for OPEC's oil in the second half of the year by 150,000 barrels a day to 30.9 million barrels a day, nearly 1 million barrels a day more than the oil cartel produced in May.
In its semi-annual meeting in Vienna earlier this week, the producer group elected to keep its oil output quota unchanged at 30 million barrels a day.
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