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Oil prices set to slip as US shale gets ready to pump, IEA director says

Oil prices are set to fall later this year despite the recent OPEC agreement to limit production, Fatih Birol, the executive director at the International Energy Agency, has told CNBC.

The oil cartel's production cut last year gave a boost to prices as it limited supply, but Birol expects other countries — most notably the U.S. — will simply step in to fill the void and depress prices, he predicted.

"As a result of the increase in prices. We are going to see a substantial amount of oil pouring into the market from the United States," he said at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Tuesday, giving a "couple of months" timeline for his estimate on prices.

Workers with Raven Drilling line up pipe while drilling for oil in the Bakken shale formation outside Watford City, North Dakota.
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Workers with Raven Drilling line up pipe while drilling for oil in the Bakken shale formation outside Watford City, North Dakota.

"At the end of the day, we are definitely going to see more oil coming from the United States," he said. "We will see a bit of a zigzag and we will see a greater volatility of the prices."

The dramatic fall in prices that began in mid-2014 was due to weak demand, a strong dollar and booming U.S. oil production, according to the International Energy Agency. However, OPEC's reluctance to cut output — until late last year — has also been seen as a key reason behind the fall.

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