Oil rigs extract petroleum in Culver City, California.
Oil rigs extract petroleum in Culver City, California. - 
Listen To The Story

Oil futures were looking gloomy on Tuesday morning following the latest monthly report from the International Energy Agency, which forecasts oil supply and demand. The agency predicts oversupply and low prices will continue at least through the first half of 2017, but it calls the supply side of the situation “confounding.”

What’s confounding the analysts is that even with the low prices, more crude oil than ever is still coming up out of the ground in parts of the world. Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Iraq and Iran are all pumping at a record or near-record pace, and the United States is still contributing to the glut despite something of a slowdown here.

But global demand has slowed down along with global growth, especially in China and India, and that’s a dynamic that’s keeping prices low. The IEA’s report adjusted down its previous predictions for global demand growth.

Meanwhile, one of the world’s largest producers, Saudi Aramco, appears to be bidding to buy a major oil refinery in Houston. So one short-term solution for suppliers is to be sure they control production, to guarantee it will be their oil that gets refined.

“I think the best compliment I can give is not to say how much your programs have taught me (a ton), but how much Marketplace has motivated me to go out and teach myself.” – Michael in Arlington, VA

As a nonprofit news organization, what matters to us is the same thing that matters to you: being a source for trustworthy, independent news that makes people smarter about business and the economy. So if Marketplace has helped you understand the economy better, make more informed financial decisions or just encouraged you to think differently, we’re asking you to give a little something back.

Become a Marketplace Investor today – in whatever amount is right for you – and keep public service journalism strong. We’re grateful for your support.

Follow Lewis Wallace at @LewisPants