As 2019 came to a close, oil prices were under pressure from the continued surge of U.S. shale oil. Although OPEC and its partners had already cut production by more than 1 million barrels per day (BPD), U.S. oil production had grown by about 2 million BPD from early 2018 to late 2019. While some are quick to credit soft demand with the assault on oil prices, the reality is that oil demand is still growing each year by over 1 million BPD. The real challenge for OPEC hasn’t been soft demand — it’s the continued onslaught of shale oil production. Following a failed price war that started in 2014, OPEC’s strategy has been to prop up oil prices by cutting production. The cartel is now in a waiting game with U.S. shale producers, cutting production to keep prices propped up, while holding out for the slowdown of U.S. […]