The rally in oil prices over the past year likely had more to do with higher demand rather than merely the supply taken off of the market by the OPEC/non-OPEC cuts. That suggests that as OPEC tries to formulate a strategy going forward, perhaps targeting a certain price level, much of the success of that campaign will depend on the global economy and the pace of oil demand growth. That conclusion comes from a new report published by the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies (OIES). The report parses out some of the variables determining prices in recent years, dividing the recent past into four main cycles: 1) OPEC defending market share (2013-2015); 2) OPEC’s high output/low-price strategy to drive out shale (2015-2016); 3) OPEC/non-OPEC cuts (June 2016-April 2017); and 4) OPEC’s strategy to drain stocks (May 2017-present). Throughout these four stages, one interesting conclusion is that the demand story […]