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Will the new shale surge wreck the rebalancing?

As tight oil soars, producers should welcome the retreat in prices. Cheaper oil is the best chance to bring back market equilibrium

No one should doubt Opec and its partners' success. They have beaten expectations on compliance with the cuts and on the longevity of their deal. But the goal of the exercise—market balance—is receding again. Not until the end of 2018 will equilibrium be reached, the group says. Given how quickly tight oil supply is rising, and Opec's tendency to underestimate it, even that distant target looks optimistic. The market is suddenly out of Opec's control again. Opec shows no wish to deepen the cuts, which would only surrender more customers and further spur rival production. Nor can it abandon the cuts to beat back American drillers, as it tried to do in 2014—the price fall was too painful. It

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