The International Energy Agency (IEA) has said that stronger-than-expected demand has drained oil inventories to the lowest level since 2008, tightening the market and defying predictions of a glut, Reuters has reported. Oil inventories in the developed world fell by 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd) in the last three months of 2013, the steepest quarterly decline since 1999, the IEA said. “Far from drowning in oil, markets have had to dig deeply into inventories to meet unexpectedly strong demand,” the IEA said in its monthly oil market report. “Demand has been stronger than expected, and we’re operating with low stock levels right now, which has been supportive for prices,” Antoine Halff, head of the IEA’s oil industry and markets division, told the news service.
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