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U.S. shale might blunt OPEC efforts in 2018

A shale oil pump at sunset
A well pump works at sunset on a farm near Sweetwater, Texas. Photo: LM Otero / AP

The commentary atop the International Energy Agency's monthly oil report published Thursday is headlined "Happy New Year?" — and the question mark there matters because IEA says it might not be joyous for OPEC. That's because rising U.S. shale production is blunting efforts by the cartel and Russia to tighten the market by extending their production-limiting through the end of 2018, a decision made last month in Vienna.

Why it matters: It's another sign of how the shale surge has re-shaped global crude markets and created big challenges for petro-states including Saudi Arabia and Russia.