Debate About the Oil Glut

Brent and West Texas Intermediate both dipped below US$30 a barrel in the latter part of January, in part due to the lifting of UN sanctions on Iran and the market consequently pricing in the return of Iranian oil on the market. Iran will contribute to the supply glut precipitated by waning global demand – particularly from China – and the ongoing production push by Saudi and Gulf producers (in an effort to assure market share). Weekly US crude and gasoline inventories hit record highs in early February, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Meanwhile, Iranian officials have already agreed deals to provide France with daily oil barrels. Elsewhere, a Saudi-Venezuela summit appears to have ended positively but with little agreement on how to boost prices.

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