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.
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