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Stocks built by 3.3m b/d in second quarter, says IEA

Saudi Arabia is pumping oil at record highs, Iranian supplies are about to hit the market, Iraq’s exports from the south are beating expectations and, across the Atlantic, North American oil production continues to rise

The International Energy Agency thinks stocks were building by 3.3m b/d in the second quarter. Lurking amid that thicket of bearish news, though, is something the bulls still want to latch on to: dwindling spare capacity. For the oil market, Opec’s reserve of quickly producible oil has always been the first defence against supply disruptions or price spikes. Any drop in the level is a reason to buy. Sometimes, the market has seemed to value the spare capacity as much as the actual supply. Take 2008 as an example. As oil prices soared, consumer countries begged Saudi Arabia for more oil. The kingdom obliged – but the market saw the move as bullish. Every extra barrel exported from the king

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