NEW YORK — Oil prices dropped Thursday but pared deeper losses in late trading after the International Energy Agency said the rebellion in Libya may have cut oil production less than originally feared.
The International Energy Agency said that the violent uprising in Libya has forced oil companies to idle between 500,000 and 750,000 barrels per day of production, or less than 1 percent of global daily oil consumption. That's roughly half of what Italy's Eni, Libya's largest oil producer, estimated earlier Thursday.
IEA also said it can make up for any lost shipments from Libya by tapping into large surpluses held by member countries, which include the US, the United Kingdom, France and Germany. Altogether, member nations hold 1.6 billion barrels of emergency oil supplies, or enough crude to supply the group for 145 days.