Shrinking OPEC cushion bodes scary surprises

The June 3 meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries produced no real surprises.But the oil market still could be in store for surprises this year—and nasty ones at that.As widely expected, the group hammered out an accord calling for an increase in production quotas. It didn't deliver exactly what some analysts contend the oil market was looking for. If that is so, the oil market wasn't paying attention to the broader context in which the meeting was held.While the OPEC meeting yielded a phased production quota increase of 2.5 million b/d—2 million b/d immediate, and the second increment coming in August—some analysts grumbled that the quota i...

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