First this is too late to be a reaction to Libya.
Second it is meant to juice the U.S. economy before the next election.
Third the IEA wouldn’t deplete oil reserves if global consumption were rising. Rather the organisation may be planning on a sharp drop in demand:
If inventories aren’t going to be depleted, tapping reserves today means restocking them tomorrow. When exactly does the IEA expect to take back into inventory to rebuild the 60 million barrels that they are now adding to the market? What’s going to change in the world demand-supply balance that will allow inventories be rebuilt without stoking the price pressures that tapping reserves are supposed to relieve.
The only plausible time for restocking to happen is during the onset of another oil -induced global recession, which, of course, the IEA may think will occur sooner than most of us yet suspect.
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