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Missing barrels and data revisions

The International Energy Agency has changed its view of the oil market. What’s going on?

FROM “drowning in oversupply” to “light at the end of the tunnel”, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has in just three months accomplished what can only be described as a U-turn on its message to the oil market. In its January monthly Oil-Market Report, the agency told readers the prospect of 0.6m barrels a day (b/d) of new Iranian oil output by the middle of the year could overwhelm the market, especially if Opec members maintained their output levels. Already buckling under the weight of a 1bn-barrel build in OECD crude stocks between 2014 and 2015, oil inventories would add another 285m barrels this year, it said in the same report. Global oil supply would exceed demand by 1.5m b/d

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