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Oil Agreement Could Bring Market Into Balance Sooner, Says IEA Executive

An agreement between oil producers to curtail their output could bring the market back into balance sooner than expected, but significant questions remain over how such a deal would be implemented and its longer-term impact, The International Energy Agency’s executive director said.

The IEA has predicted that left to its own devices, the oil market would rebalance in the second half of 2017, but a deal between producers could hasten this shift, Fatih Birol told reporters on the sidelines of an energy conference in Istanbul.

However, the IEA’s executive director also highlighted questions that still remain over how production cuts will be allocated and the impact of a price increase on shale producers in the U.S.

“I think we all need to see those two question marks when we look at the discussions in the next days to come,” Mr. Birol said.

He also responded to criticism from Iraq’s oil minister that data on the country’s oil production published by independent sources, including the IEA, are incorrect and understate Iraq’s output.

“If they are convinced that our numbers are not that, then we will be very happy to correct them. But the numbers we are using today are the numbers that the entire market is using,” Mr. Birol said.
Source: Dow Jones

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