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Beware Gushing Crude Forecasts

Yes, oil prices are up, but Liam Denning at the Wall Street Journal doesn’t see another spike coming.

An excerpt:

First, there is more oil lying around. U.S. commercial crude-oil inventories covered 25.4 days of demand as of Nov. 26, compared with 19.5 days in December 2007. Stocks for the industrialized world as a whole are higher, too. There also is more spare capacity available. U.S. refinery use is running at about 84%, compared with almost 89% three years ago. Meanwhile, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ spare crude-output capacity is 6.1 million barrels a day, or 7% of global demand, according to the latest International Energy Agency report. The buffer was just 2.8 million barrels, or 3.2%, in December 2007.
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