Opec’s efforts to balance the market and boost oil prices towards $60/B are as far away from succeeding as ever. Crude prices are at their lowest level since Opec opted to cut output in November (MEES, 2 December 2016), but the group’s production is some 1.2mn b/d lower. Revenues are being squeezed.

The IEA released its first estimations on 2018 supply and demand projections this week and it makes galling reading for Opec. The figures indicate that global stocks will remain high...