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IEA Ready to Release More Oil: Tanaka

By Catherine Boyle, Web Producer,

NEW YORK ( CNBC) -- The International Energy Agency is ready to release more oil onto the market if necessary, Nobuo Tanaka, Executive Director of the agency, told CNBC in a first on CNBC interview Friday morning.

"We are ready to act at any time and if we have to we will continue," Tanaka said. He added that the watchdog "sometimes had to bite".

On Thursday, the IEA announced the surprise release of 60 million barrels of oil from the strategic petroleum reserves of 28 nations. The statement sent shockwaves through global markets and sent oil prices down to around $91 per barrel, their lowest level since February.
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Rogers, whose portfolio is mainly in commodities and currencies, said oil prices will rise.

"The only test of the right oil price is whether we can maintain the level of the global economic recovery. At the same time, we want to maintain investment level and exploration," Tanaka added.

"We are convinced the market is getting tighter so if we don't loosen up we could see a much more difficult situation and a hard landing for the economy," he added.

The decision to release 60 million barrels of oil followed market disruption prompted by trouble in the Middle East and divisions in the OPEC countries over whether to raise production. The agency also wanted to stave off a possible spike in energy prices. The IEA believes that the crisis in Libya had removed 132 million barrels of oil from the market by the end of May, and predicts that Libyan oil will mainly remain off the market until the end of the year.

It was just the third time in the agency's history that its members released some of their more than four billion barrels of stocks. The United States will provide half, Europe 30% and members in Pacific Ocean the remaining 20%.

The two previous releases of oil came during the Gulf War and shortly after Hurricane Katrina.

While 60 million barrels only represents around 17 hours of global consumption, the market was spooked on Thursday.
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