Given the levels of geo-political tensions, including armed conflict in Libya, Iraq and Ukraine, few would expect crude oil to fall to 14-month lows, as it did Tuesday when Brent traded at a little over $101 a barrel. Part of the reason is that the International Energy Agency has cut its demand forecasts for 2014 and 2015.
The more important reason is that, apart from Saudi Arabia ramping up production to its highest level in nearly a year, North America’s shale oil/gas has more than made up for the slack in oil production in other parts of the world. Production cuts to maintain prices, as in the past, are a possibility, but rising US and Canadian production limits the effectiveness of that measure. That’s good news for India.