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The International Energy Agency said Friday that OECD oil stockpiles are almost down to their five-year average.

Why it matters: That's the original goal of the production-limiting deal between OPEC, Russia and some other producers seeking to clear the global glut.

The IEA's new monthly oil market report states:

  • "With markets expected to tighten, it is possible that when we publish OECD stocks data in the next month or two they will have reached or even fallen below the five-year average target."
  • "It is not for us to declare on behalf of the Vienna agreement countries that it is 'mission accomplished', but if our outlook is accurate, it certainly looks very much like it."

OECD stocks has fallen to just 30 million barrels above their five-year average at the end of February, IEA said.

But, but, but: The goals and status of the OPEC-Russia relationship has become an evolving thing as the producers grapple with the rise of U.S. shale and seek to continue propping up prices. It's unlikely they'll seek an early exit to the current agreement that's slated to run through year's end.

  • "Despite shrinking oil inventories, Opec producers have said alternative metrics must be considered when evaluating the success of the deal and how long cuts should be maintained," the Financial Times noted Friday.

And there are also plans for a longer term — maybe much, much longer term — collaboration on market management between OPEC and Russia.

One level deeper: "OPEC appears to be reformulating its target in terms of upstream investment rather than oil inventories, according to an analysis of recent statements made by ministers from member countries," Reuters analyst John Kemp wrote Thursday.

For now IEA is sticking with its forecast of 1.5 million barrels per day of demand growth this year to reach 99.3 million, but warns, "the trade dispute between the US and China is introducing a downward risk to the forecast."

Go deeper: The Wall Street Journal has more on how trade fights could hit oil forecasts.

Go deeper

Rohingya refugees sue Facebook over Myanmar hate speech

Internally displaced Rohingya peoples at a market area in the Baw Du Pha IDP Camp in Sittwe in Myanmar's western Rakhine state. Photo: STR/AFP via Getty Images

Rohingya refugees accused Facebook in a $150 million lawsuit filed Monday of amplifying hate speech against the persecuted minority Muslims in Myanmar via algorithms and failing to take down inflammatory posts.

Why it matters: Thousands of Rohingya adults and children have been killed in what the United Nations deemed a genocidal campaign against the Muslim minority. Tens of thousands of Rohingya have been displaced, notably following a massacre by Myanmar's military in 2017.

Former D.C. Guard alleges Army generals lied about Jan. 6 response

Members of the National Guard and Capitol police keep a small group of pro-Trump demonstrators away from the Capitol following the insurrection on Jan. 6. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

A former D.C. National Guard official has alleged that top Army generals "lied" to Congress in their testimony on the U.S. Capitol riot, Politico first reported Monday.

The big picture: Col. Earl Matthews, who was serving on Jan. 6, alleges in a memo that the official version on the military response is "worthy of the best Stalinist or North Korea propagandist" and that the Pentagon inspector general's November report on it features "myriad inaccuracies, false or misleading statements, or examples of faulty analysis."

Toyota to build $1.3 billion U.S. battery plant in North Carolina

The all-electric Toyota bZ4X, the company's first battery-electric vehicle, at the Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles, California on Nov. 17. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Toyota announced Monday it's investing $1.3 billion to construct an electric vehicle battery "megasite" near Greensboro, North Carolina, set to open in 2025.

Why it matters: Toyota's Prius hybrid won environmental plaudits when it launched in 1997, but it has since lost ground to electric vehicle world leader Tesla, per Axios' Joann Muller. This battery plant will be the first to produce automotive batteries for Toyota in North America.

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