World oil markets should be able to take the disruptions caused by the recent Iraqi violence in stride, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew told a leading business group Tuesday.
“I believe the world energy markets will be able to deal with the situation as it goes forward,” he said. “I don’t think it’s in the interest of any party in Iraq for there to be a severe disruption in supply, but there is sufficient capacity in the world right now.”
Iraq, still recovering after a decade or instability and facing a rising insurgence movement, was the world’s seventh largest oil producer in 2013.
Mr. Lew’s remarks at the U.S.-China Business Alliance come at a time when Islamist militants have declared the land they have taken in Syria and northern Iraq to be a caliphate for Muslims around the world.
Mr. Lew said U.S. officials are watching the oil markets closely, frequently speaking with oil producers.
“We haven’t yet seen significant supply disruptions. Obviously, there’s some fluctuation in oil prices that are based on many factors including the situation, but not exclusively, the situation in Iraq,” he said.