(Updates to add IEA economist comment on stockpiles in third paragraph.)
Jan. 23 (Bloomberg) -- The European Union’s decision today to impose sanctions against the purchase of oil from Iran allows customers time to find alternative supply, the International Energy Agency said.
“The EU embargo may not impact upon actual physical supplies until around the middle of 2012, which gives existing customers of Iranian oil some time to line up alternative supplies,” the Paris-based agency said in a statement received by e-mail. The IEA “welcomes statements by key Gulf producers that they will continue to meet existing and any incremental demand from their customers,” it said.
The IEA requires that its 28 member nations maintain emergency stockpiles in the event of a supply shock. Fatih Birol, the agency’s chief economist, said on Jan. 19 that there is no reason to take any action to release inventories amid concern that tensions over Iran’s nuclear program and sanctions may disrupt exports of Middle East oil.
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