Iraq joined Saudi Arabia in pumping more oil as OPEC members defend market share against higher-cost producers. Brent crude has climbed 10 percent this year, spurring speculation that higher prices will lead to even more output and prolong a surplus.
In a webcast, the panel of experts from financial services giant Ernst & Young said that the energy sector is expected to rebound, albeit at a sluggish pace, after several months of unrest following the collapse in oil prices that began last fall.
Saudi Arabia steered the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in November to protect its market share in the face of swelling U.S. crude output, rather than cut supplies to shore up prices as it did in the past.
The group’s production increases came ahead of OPEC’s decision at a gathering in Vienna last week to keep the flow of oil steady even in the face of the oil bust, a strategy it has used to capture more of the market as other producers retreat.
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