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False dawn for oil

EVs, fuel-economy standards and perceptions of supply abundance are not about to end oil-market volatility

Oil industry leaders, investors and government officials contemplating medium-term (say five-year-forecast) oil prices should be wary of the words "new normal". Consensus sees shale and electric vehicles (EVs) indefinitely penning crude oil prices in the $40-$60 range that has held since early 2015, with the exception of a single sharp decline below $30 in early 2016. We contend that the oil market remains firmly in a "boom-bust" era, characterised by large structural imbalances, and the absence of an effective swing producer, with no end in sight. Oil's recent relatively tight range is no more a new normal than the prior "new normal" interlude around $100 was from 2010-13. Medium term, expe

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