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Three of the ten most valuable companies in the world belong to the oil industry, making it one of the largest industries on earth. Within this massive industry, oil price is considered to be the most important indicator of the direction of industry growth and its global impact. The price has varied considerably over the years and is heavily influenced by global economic and political events including wars and financial crises, which have had an immediate impact on oil price. However, beyond these individual events are long term factors which determine oil prices over decades such as availability of reserves, technology, cost of production and the evolution of demand for oil.
To understand these long term factors, it is essential to study the building blocks of the oil industry: supply and demand. It is the variations (or the anticipated variations) of these which ultimately influence oil price. This report discusses oil supply and demand trends and the impact they are expected to have on oil prices by answering three key questions :