A return to previous oil price highs may not be on the horizon, says the International Energy Agency, hailing a new era in crude markets.
“Supply and demand balances suggest that the price rout has yet to run its course,” said the wealthy nation’s energy watchdog in its closely watched monthly oil report.
“Barring any new supply disruption, downward price pressures could build further in the first half of 2015.”
“It is increasingly clear that we have begun a new chapter in the history of the oil markets,” it added.
The price of Brent, the international oil benchmark, has plunged by 30 per cent to $77.92 since mid-June, despite key oil producing regions — such as Libya and Iraq — being stuck in the throes of bloody conflict.
Weaker than expected demand has coincided with relentless growth in US production and a surplus of oil in the Atlantic Basin, as well as the North Sea. A stronger dollar has also helped to push the price of Brent lower.