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

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 12,859,834 — Total deaths: 567,123 — Total recoveries — 7,062,085Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 3,297,501— Total deaths: 135,155 — Total recoveries: 1,006,326 — Total tested: 40,282,176Map.
  3. States: Florida smashes single-day record for new coronavirus cases with over 15,000 — NYC reports zero coronavirus deaths for first time since pandemic hit.
  4. Public health: Ex-FDA chief projects "apex" of South's coronavirus curve in 2-3 weeks — Coronavirus testing czar: Lockdowns in hotspots "should be on the table"
  5. Education: Betsy DeVos says schools that don't reopen shouldn't get federal funds — Pelosi accuses Trump of "messing with the health of our children."

Scoop: How the White House is trying to trap leakers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Trump's chief of staff, Mark Meadows, has told several White House staffers he's fed specific nuggets of information to suspected leakers to see if they pass them on to reporters — a trap that would confirm his suspicions. "Meadows told me he was doing that," said one former White House official. "I don't know if it ever worked."

Why it matters: This hunt for leakers has put some White House staffers on edge, with multiple officials telling Axios that Meadows has been unusually vocal about his tactics. So far, he's caught only one person, for a minor leak.

11 GOP congressional nominees support QAnon conspiracy

Lauren Boebert posing in her restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, on April 24. Photo: Emily Kask/AFP

At least 11 Republican congressional nominees have publicly supported or defended the QAnon conspiracy theory movement or some of its tenets — and more aligned with the movement may still find a way onto ballots this year.

Why it matters: Their progress shows how a fringe online forum built on unsubstantiated claims and flagged as a threat by the FBI is seeking a foothold in the U.S. political mainstream.