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Quarterly global changes in oil inventories, demand, and supply. Chart: IEA

The International Energy Agency sees strong potential for some stability in global crude markets next year — if OPEC and Russia re-up their production-limiting deal beyond the first quarter (check out the chart above).

  • "Looking into 2018, we see that three quarters out of four will be roughly balanced — again using an assumption of unchanged OPEC production, and based on normal weather conditions," they said in the latest closely watched monthly outlook.
  • "The next few weeks ahead of the producers' meeting in Vienna on 30 November will be crucial in shaping their decision on output. A lot has been achieved towards [stabilizing] the market, but to build on this success in 2018 will require continued discipline."

By the numbers: The IEA expects supply from outside of OPEC to grow by 1.5 million barrels per day next year, alongside similar growth in crude demand of 1.4 million.

The IEA notes that there has been progress in cutting the glut of global inventories, with a "major reduction in floating storage, oil in transit, and stocks held in some independent areas."

  • At the end of August, combined stocks of crude oil and refined products in industrialized countries were slightly over 3 billion barrels, dropping down to 170 million barrels above the five-year average, a sign of progress in clearing the global glut.

Go deeper: Reuters has much more on the report here.

Go deeper

Ina Fried, author of Login
1 hour ago - Technology

Scoop: Google is investigating the actions of another top AI ethicist

Google CEO Sundar Pichai. Photo by Mateusz Wlodarczyk/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Google is investigating recent actions by Margaret Mitchell, who helps lead the company's ethical AI team, Axios has confirmed.

Why it matters: The probe follows the forced exit of Timnit Gebru, a prominent researcher also on the AI ethics team at Google whose ouster ignited a firestorm among Google employees.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Joe Biden's COVID-19 bubble

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The incoming administration is planning extraordinary steps to protect its most prized commodity, Joe Biden, including requiring daily employee COVID tests and N95 masks at all times, according to new guidance sent to some incoming employees Tuesday.

Why it matters: The president-elect is 78 years old and therefore a high risk for the virus and its worst effects, despite having received the vaccine. While President Trump's team was nonchalant about COVID protocols — leading to several super-spreader episodes — the new rules will apply to all White House aides in "high proximity to principals."

Justice Department drops insider trading inquiry against Sen. Richard Burr

Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) walking through the Senate Subway in the U.S. Capitol in December 2020. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

The Department of Justice told Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) on Tuesday that it will not move forward with insider trading charges against him.

Why it matters: The decision, first reported by the New York Times, effectively ends the DOJ's investigation into the senator's stock sell-off that occurred after multiple lawmakers were briefed about the coronavirus' potential economic toll. Burr subsequently stepped down as chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee.