World petroleum stocks are so large that the total interruption of Iraqi-Iranian exports would hardly make a dent, a noted industry newsletter, The Lundberg Letter, says. If the world were deprived entirely of the 4 million-barrel-a-day exports from the two warring nations, it probably has more than a 25-month supply above the amount considered adequate before 1979. Even if the Persian Gulf's entire 17 million-barrel-a-day export were stopped, there would probably be a six-month cushion.
The letter says US refined oil prices will likely remain stable until companies solve their oversupply problems, which may not be until next summer. But it is only a matter of time before upward pressures raise prices again.