It's too early to weigh the release of oil from national emergency stockpiles against benchmark prices for crude oil, an official at the IEA in Paris said.
During its regular meeting in June, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries left production quotas set in 2008 in place. This was despite concerns that high energy prices would undermine economic recovery across the board.
The International Energy Agency followed the OPEC decision by announcing its member states would release a combined 60 million barrels of crude oil from strategic reserves. The IEA said the release was needed because of tight market conditions brought on by the lack of production from war-torn Libya.
IEA oil markets chief David Fyfe was quoted by The Wall Street Journal as saying the release would free up trading for some energy buyers. It was wrong, he added, to judge the IEA release based on fluctuations in energy markets.
"This is about flexibility -- providing a bit of extra liquidity into the market," he was quoted as saying.
Analysts at investment firm Goldman Sachs were quoted as saying the IEA release will have a "negligible impact" on prices, however.