The price of crude oil has fallen to its lowest level in six weeks. One reason is that rising production means reserves have increased. There are also signs that a two-year long build up in world demand is finally beginning to slow down. Brent crude is heading back down towards $51 a barrel. While in New York prices are now 12% lower than last week’s all time high of $58.28.
OPEC last month raised output by 290,000 barrels a day to 29.1 million a day, the International Energy Agency estimates. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates particularly are pumping additional amounts in order to create a buffer for anticipated strong demand later in the year. Saudi Arabia has told customers in Asia they will receive more crude in May than they are getting this month. But at the same time, the IEA, which advises industrialized nations on energy policy, said that demand growth from countries like China is slowing.