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Health workers gather to form a human chain reading 'SOS' during a protest in Venezuela. Photo: Federico Parra/AFP via Getty Images

The International Energy Agency said Thursday that the global crude market is entering a "very crucial period" as U.S. sanctions against Iran loom and the country's exports have already dropped. Oh, and Venezuela is still collapsing.

The big picture: There's certainly enough crude from elsewhere sloshing around right now.

  • OPEC supplies actually hit a 9-month high of 32.6 million barrels per day last month, and the ramp-up "outweighed a substantial reduction in Iran and a further fall in Venezuela," IEA said in its monthly oil market report.
  • In fact, global supplies hit a record 100 million barrels per day in August.

Yes, but: The Paris-based agency still sees the market "tightening up." And there are uncertainties about where additional barrels will come from if Venezuela and Iranian supplies keep falling as expected.

  • OPEC countries have a combined 2.7 million barrels per day in spare capacity, but it's unclear how much is readily available.
  • Brazilian production has not grown as much as expected.
  • U.S. production is growing (more on that below), but infrastructure constraints could limit how much companies can boost output beyond existing plans.
  • Libyan production has been up lately, but it's a fragile place.

The bottom line: Things could get rocky and oil prices, which for Brent have been in the $70–$80 range since April, could be "tested." IEA states:

"The situation in Venezuela could deteriorate even faster, strife could return to Libya and the 53 days to 4 November will reveal more decisions taken by countries and companies with respect to Iranian oil purchases. It remains to be seen if other producers decide to increase their production."

State of the market: Traders seem to be responding to the currently robust supply picture. Per MarketWatch:

"Oil futures fell in early Thursday trade as a report showed production among OPEC members surged in August, pushing global inventories to a record."

Go deeper: Reuters breaks down the IEA report in detail here.

Go deeper

The rebellion against Silicon Valley (the place)

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Smith Collection/Gado via Getty Images

Silicon Valley may be a "state of mind," but it's also very much a real enclave in Northern California. Now, a growing faction of the tech industry is boycotting it.

Why it matters: The Bay Area is facing for the first time the prospect of losing its crown as the top destination for tech workers and startups — which could have an economic impact on the region and force it to reckon with its local issues.

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Telework's tax mess

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

As teleworkers flit from city to city, they're creating a huge tax mess.

Why it matters: Our tax laws aren't built for telecommuting, and this new way of working could have dire implications for city and state budgets.

Wanted: New media bosses, everywhere

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Reuters, HuffPost and Wired are all looking for new editors. Soon, The New York Times will be too.

Why it matters: The new hires will reflect a new generation — one that's addicted to technology, demands accountability and expects diversity to be a priority.