Three months after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait threw oil markets into turmoil, world production is virtually equal to demand and inventories are higher than they were a year ago, according to several recent reports by international agencies, private analysts and the U.S. Department of Energy.

While the figures vary slightly, the reports all show that the international energy marketplace has absorbed most of the shock caused by the invasion. They also confirm President Bush's view, supported by most independent analysts, that the sharp price increases posted since the invasion are mostly the result of fear of shortages, not actual shortages.

The price of a barrel of light sweet crude oil closed at $35.17 yesterday in trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. After weeks of volatility, the price has been hovering in that range all week. It was below $18 early last summer.

The encouraging supply statistics do not necessarily mean that the oil crisis is over, however, because production and refining facilities are operating at full capacity, with no margin for error. Some refined products, such as jet fuel and propane, are in dangerously short supply, the reports indicate.

"Despite the apparent easing of the supply-demand balance, the petroleum industry remains near capacity at almost every point in the production, refining and distribution system," according to an Oct. 31 analysis by the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA). "Thus, the oil market is still at risk of further disruption."

Disruption could mean anything from war in the Persian Gulf to a major refinery fire. But in the absence of such events, oil is plentiful and the industrialized nations are entering the winter in good shape, the reports show.

The shutdown of Iraqi and Kuwaiti production removed 4.3 million barrels a day, or about 9 percent of demand, from the supply stream of the non-Communist world. The gap is down to about 600,000 barrels a day and should be less than 500,000 barrels by the end of this month, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The IEA report put the loss at 4.2 million barrels and the current gap at about 700,000.

The monthly Energy Outlook published by National Economic Research Associates Inc. (NERA) of White Plains, N.Y., projects a total world production, including the output of the Soviet Union, of 65.6 million barrels a day for the rest of this year.

Projected demand is 65.7 million barrels, leaving a negligible gap that can easily be made up by the normal seasonal drawdowns of oil company stocks.

But the NERA report and other analyses caution that the holders of those stocks may be reluctant to use them because of fear that they would be hard to replace.

Because "the risk of war {is} high enough to make most operators want to hold higher levels of oil stocks," the market "will continue to tighten, which will keep upward pressure on crude oil prices," according to Stockwatch, a monthly analysis published by the Washington-based Energy Security Analysis Inc.

Most of the oil replacing the Iraqi and Kuwaiti supplies is coming from Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest exporter.

Saudi Arabia was producing 5.3 million barrels a day in July but is now approaching 8 million.

Saudi Arabia is taking unused oil fields out of mothballs and ordering new pumping stations and pipelines in an effort to produce 10 million barrels daily, but it is not expected to reach that figure until 1995.