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Draining the swamp

The oil glut will linger, despite Opec's best efforts

Price stability, at a higher level, is what the cuts are designed to achieve. But to bring that about Opec needs to drain a glut of crude that has built up over the past few years. Khalid al-Falih, Saudi Arabia's oil minister, says he thinks the market will be balanced by mid-2017. Others aren't so sure. It certainly looks like it will take longer than half a year to tame the raging overhang. If so, whatever Falih says, Opec will probably need to extend its deal in May for the rest of 2017. "Riyadh knows that running down the overhang will take longer than six months, and one year is widely seen as the time needed to rebalance the market," wrote Amrita Sen, head of consultancy Energy Aspec

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