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Julian Lee

Don't Mistake Higher Oil Prices for a License to Pump

Opening the taps too soon risks another price crash just as demand starts to recover.

Eager to fill her back up?

Eager to fill her back up?

Photographer: Franck Fife/AFP via Getty Images

For the first time in weeks the oil news isn’t all bad. Output cuts are starting to make big inroads into supply, and demand is beginning to recover, ever so slightly, as something more like normal life resumes in parts of the world.

But there’s a double risk on the horizon: Just as lifting lockdowns too soon could bring a second spike in virus infections and deaths, loosening the hard-fought restraint in oil production too soon risks a second oil-price collapse.