Saudi energy chief: Oil glut is past

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The decline in crude prices was brought on by oversupply.
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Oil companies reduced their expenditures when revenue fell.
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The energy sector was hit hard by oversupply.
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Oil, and other factors, have kept the stock market on a rollercoaster ride.
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As U.S. oil production rose, imports fell.
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The increase in gross domestic product has steadily declined.
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Only recently have pump prices begun to increase after a steep falloff.
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The troubled oil sector has hurt Texas' sales tax collections.
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Despite the surge in U.S. oil production and falling prices, OPEC has not substantially reduced its production.

HOUSTON – The man in charge of Saudi Arabia’s oil empire says the energy glut that kindled a crippling oil rout and thrashed Houston’s biggest business for two years has finally vanished.

Click through the gallery above to see how the oil glut has affected the economy.

“We are out of it,” Saudi energy minister Khalid Al-Falih told Fuel Fix late Tuesday in his first one-on-one newspaper interview since his rise to the most powerful job in the energy industry last month. “The oversupply has disappeared. We just have to carry the overhang of inventory for a while until the system works it out.”

He was in Houston this week to visit Saudi Aramco operations here and later joined in an evening meal to break the Ramadan fast at Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts.

And though the U.S. alone has a stockpile of 530 million barrels, Al-Falih expects the world to absorb the glut by sometime next year.

At HoustonChronicle.com Al-Falih tells Collin Eaton how the oil glut will end and explains the new chapter he sees for the cyclical energy business.