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LONDON: The global oil market is “walking a tightrope” between scarce supply and the possibility of a recession, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Wednesday, with higher prices and worsening economic conditions already taking a toll on demand.

“Rarely has the outlook for oil markets been more uncertain. A worsening macroeconomic outlook and fears of recession are weighing on market sentiment, while there are ongoing risks on the supply side,” the Paris-based agency said.

“For now, weaker-than-expected oil demand growth in advanced economies and resilient Russian supply” has reduced market tightness, the IEA said in its monthly oil report. Still, its demand outlook for 2022 was trimmed by just 200,000 barrels per day (bpd) and is set for an annual rise of 1.7 million bpd and 2.1 million bpd in 2023, when it will reach 101.3 million bpd led by growth in developing countries.

OPEC producers Saudi Arabia and the UAE will have a limited ability to pump more oil, the IEA warned, with their combined spare production capacity set to fall to 2.2 million bpd in August.

Meanwhile, despite Russian oil exports hitting their lowest levels since last August, the IEA said Russia’s export revenue increased by $700 million month on month on higher oil prices.

Oil edges higher; market wary of US inflation data

The profits supported Russia’s military operations in Ukraine, a situation the IEA called “untenable”.

“Discussions are ongoing to identify a solid market mechanism to ensure effective implementation and enforcement (of a cap on the Russian oil price),” it said.

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