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What can Opec do?

The supply deal is stuck in limbo—the cutters have complied but stocks remain high and prices weak. What now?

It wasn't for lack of trying. Compliance with the supply deal struck last November, at least within Opec, has been high. The diplomacy even to get an agreement between members that are avowed geopolitical rivals, let alone corral Russia into the pact, was an achievement in itself. But the market's judgement is in—and the deal as it stands is failing, by pretty much every measure one can apply. Saudi oil minister Khalid al-Falih said the cuts would deplete the excess of OECD-held stocks that hangs over the market, eroding the surplus in the five-year average. This hasn't happened and it seems increasingly less likely to before the extension agreed in May expires at the end of the first quart

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