Glut of Crude Shields Market From Price Shock

Oil prices are falling despite conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East.

Fighting across Iraq, Libya, Ukraine and Gaza, and an accelerating economy, should mean higher oil prices. Yet crude is falling.

Six years ago, oil soared to a record $147 a barrel as tension mounted over Iran’s nuclear program and the world economy had just seen the strongest period of sustained growth since the 1970s. Now, West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark price, has traded below $100 for 10 days and Brent, the European equivalent, tumbled to a 13-month low.

Oil Demand

The recent decline in oil prices may prove to be just a phase as global demand is forecast to pick up in the second half of the year, Bhushan Bahree, senior director of global oil at IHS Energy, said by phone yesterday. Demand will rise 1.71 million barrels a day to 93.45 million in the third quarter and climb again to 94.04 million in the fourth, the Paris-based IEA said in a report yesterday.

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