Michael Witner, an International Energy Agency official working on the agency's widely watched Monthly Oil Market Report, described to OGJ how the report is compiled.
"We receive statistics and data from member countries, from member governments, from trade organizations, the press, consultants, oil companies, and other international organizations," he said.
"From OPEC, we get some information but look for other sources, for we don't get from them as much reliable information as we would like. Everything is heavily scrutinized so that it cannot be said we are manipulating the market. But we can't prevent people from giving their own interpretation. It is also rare that we get the sense that someone is trying to influence us either way. Our operating philosophy is that we put into the report the best knowledge that we have at that time and make revisions, if need be. We must be the absolute reference, and everyone we talk to must be an objective source. Also, we keep confidential any information that needs to be kept confidential.
"It all comes to a matter of talking to people, having the right contacts."
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