Oil market nearing strategic rebalancing as prices continue looking up – OPEC

OPEC have said that after long years of embarrassing low oil prices, the global oil market is moving closer to reaching a healthy balance between supply and demand.

A look at the monthly oil market report, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said there were “growing indications that the oil market is heading smoothly toward rebalancing.”

Prices were being buoyed by lower crude oil stocks, healthy demand and geopolitical tensions, the cartel said.

Oil prices have risen in recent months, after OPEC and a clutch of countries outside the cartel struck a landmark deal at the end of 2016 to cut back production to combat a global oil glut.

AFP reports that at a meeting in Vienna at the end of November, the oil-producing nations agreed to extend that deal until the end of 2018.

Oil prices have recently moved above the $70 mark, after hitting a 10-year low of less than $30 in January 2016.

“In December, oil futures improved further to levels not seen since late 2014,” OPEC said.

The agreement to extend the cutbacks, “as well as supply turbulences in the North Sea buoyed the sustained gains” in futures prices, it wrote.