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For the first time in three years, the chief concern in the oil market isn't too much supply. Just as production cuts by OPEC and its allies finally deplete a surplus that has weighed on oil prices since 2014, political crises have hit the organization's three biggest members. While analysts don't expect any imminent disruption, Saudi supplies are so critical that the elevated risk pushed crude prices to a two-year high.That rally soon ended as surging U.S. shale-oil supplies created a supply glut, which the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia – longtime market rivals – are now jointly laboring to clear.Oil prices are always slow to factor in political dangers, reacting only when facilities or supplies are materially affected, according to Francisco Blanch, head of commodities research at Bank of America Corp.
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