Oil is poised for wreckage

Even if optimistic predictions of an oil price recovery prove correct, the industry will suffer considerable damage before then.

Oil prices may return to $US80 a barrel by the end of the year, they may go much higher, but even if that optimistic view proves to be right there will be considerable ­industry wreckage before then.

Not only has the new Saudi monarch, King Salman, made it clear his country will not (at least, not yet) reduce production, but there is the prospect an oil surplus will overhang the market even after the Saudis begin turning off the taps.

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