OPEC Discipline, Inventory Cuts Key to Oil Prices in Second Half

Oil and gas industry investment and activity levels in the second half of 1999 depend on whether members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries keep production close to quotas adopted in March. Click here to enlarge imageOPEC discipline so far has made room for withdrawals from the excess inventories that accumulated during late 1997 and 1998, when demand growth slowed while crude production climbed. With inventories approaching capacity, demand for new production fell, and prices plummeted. The market stayed out of balance into the first quarter of 1999.Demand growth remained sluggish as Asian developing countries and some countries in Latin America struggled with financia...

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