Record global oil stockpiles could offer an "unprecedented buffer" in times of geopolitical shock, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Friday, as it forecast demand growth would slow next year, worsening the glut.
"Stockpiles of oil at a record 3 billion barrels are providing world markets with a degree of comfort. This massive cushion has inflated even as the global oil market adjusts to $50/bbl oil." the agency noted in its November report released Friday.
Global growth is forecast to slow in 2016 to 3.6 percent, according to the latest International Monetary Fund forecasts, which has warned that "downside" risks to the world economy have grown in recent months. Although the sharp drop in oil prices is a result of oversupply rather than a lack of demand, fears surrounding the health of the global economy are keeping investors on edge.