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Opinion
Julian Lee

Oil Demand Isn’t Roaring Back Yet

Lifting lockdowns won’t immediately mean traveling, commuting and working like before Covid-19.

Clear streets and empty skies tell of destruction in oil demand.

Clear streets and empty skies tell of destruction in oil demand.

Photographer: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

It was too good to be true. Last weekend’s OPEC+ meeting took a decision in record time to extend deep output cuts that had halted a dramatic slide in prices — and members even agreed to abide by them. The timing was perfect. The deal would keep oil from flooding the market, allowing time for demand to recover as economies around the world fire back up after draconian coronavirus lockdowns. 

Yet oil prices aren’t recovering as the bulls had hoped. Yes, there is a rebalancing of supply and demand in the offing, but consumption hasn’t picked up quite as much as they hoped it would by now.