¬†Unused capacity in global oil production has fallen to exceptionally low levels, contributing to the intense upward pressure on prices until very recently. Restoring spare capacity to more comfortable levels will require a business-cycle downturn, which is why a recession or at least a serious slowdown is inevitable. In common with inventories of crude and products, and new oilfields with rapid development times, under-utilized oil wells and refineries act as shock absorbers in the global petroleum system. But since the middle of 2020, all these sources of flexibility have eroded, leaving the market much vulnerable to shocks arising from unexpectedly strong consumption or any disruption to production. U.S. petroleum inventories including the strategic petroleum reserve have depleted to the lowest seasonal level since 2008 ( https://tmsnrt.rs/3qWJqE3 […]