Robert J. Beck Associate Managing Editor-Economics
Worldwide Supply and Demand [48,276 bytes]
Growing worldwide supply of crude oil crossed paths with slowing growth in worldwide demand for petroleum products in 1998.
The surplus pushed oil prices to their lowest level since 1986.
Prices started sliding late in 1997 and continued to drop throughout 1998. The average price of world export crude oil dipped as low as $9.32/bbl in mid-December.
The demand slowdown-largely resulting from Asia's economic collapse-came as heavy production investments of prior years brought new supply to the market.