Secrets Are Scarce in Energy Market


"Did someone leak information before last week's strategic oil release?"


It's tough to keep information about the 28-nation energy agency quiet, a U.S. energy analyst said amid claims someone leaked last week's strategic oil release.

The International Energy Agency announced last week it was calling for an emergency release of oil stocks in an effort to counter lingering shortages of production from Libya. Analysts had warned of the economic consequences of tighter energy markets, though members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries kept their current production quotas in place during their latest meeting in Vienna.

A person close to the matter revealed to The Wall Street Journal that the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission was looking at market data to determine if anyone had early news of the IEA decision.

Oil prices collapsed last week hours before the IEA announced its plans to release 60 million barrels of oil.

Dominick Chirichella, a market analyst at the Energy Management Institute in New York, told the Journal it's tough to keep secrets in an international market.

"Twenty-eight countries—it's tough to keep a secret," he said. "I don't know how you keep a secret from the oil market when there are that many countries involved."

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