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IEA highlights non-OECD data gap challenge

19 Nov 2012, 2.23 pm GMT

IEA highlights non-OECD data gap challenge

London, 19 November (Argus) – The IEA faces a growing challenge tracking oil stocks as non-OECD countries increase their share of global consumption, the agency's new director of energy markets and security, Keisuke Sadamori, has told Argus.

Sadamori, who took up his post last month, also acknowledged that with the US election over there is now less pressure for a strategic stock release.

The IEA noted the difficulty posed by “large but unreported builds in non-OECD countries” in its monthly oil market report in September. “In terms of data quality, in the day-to-day, we are seeing an increase in the non-member countries so the relative share of the non-members from our perspective is increasing, so that is making our work a lot more difficult,” said Sadamori.

“When the IEA started, the IEA members - the OECD countries - had 90pc of global oil consumption, while it is getting close to half [now], so that means we need to learn more about what is going on outside the OECD… China and India. It is really hard to find out what is going on, so that is obviously a very big challenge for us, and we are trying hard.”

Commenting on heightened expectations earlier in the year that the IEA might coordinate a strategic stock release, Sadamori said: “There was a kind of very tense period. Now, due to various political factors - the US election is over - and also with the price relatively stable recently … stock releasing is not kind of an immediate urgent task,” he said.

“…Of course, we do not stock release for commercial reasons, for prices – but we have seen somewhat more physically well supplied markets,” Sadamori said.

But he added that while talk of stock releases had receded, the IEA might take a role in helping countries respond to product supply shortfalls in the wake of extreme weather events or disasters. “We have been seeing various difficulties in oil products supply. For instance, Hurricane Sandy was a kind of typical example… so we may need to look at the kind of new situations where various disasters, weather and natural disasters have a serious impact on those supplies,” he said, noting Japan's oil product difficulties after its March 2011 earthquake. “That kind of issue is maybe something that we may need to look into. It may not be a real international work. It is mostly on the domestic area, but there might be some room for information sharing or best practices,” he said.

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