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Business

Oil prices expected to fall further in 2015

Weak demand from China and increasing US shale production are set to transform the oil industry, making a quick rebound in prices unlikely. Global oil prices have been on a downward slide since June.

Oil prices may slump further in 2015 despite falling to their lowest levels since 2010, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Friday.

"Our supply and demand forecasts indicate that barring any new supply disruption, downward price pressure could build further in the first half of 2015," the IEA said.

Prices are not expected to pick up any time soon due to "deep structural changes" affecting the industry, such as weaker demand from China and rising US shale output.

The Paris-based energy consultancy usually avoids predicting oil prices, which have fallen 30 percent since June, amid a strong US dollar and increased US light oil production.

The IEA is putting pressure on the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to reduce output ahead of its meeting later this month in Vienna. The agency also called on world leaders earlier this week to do more to curb future energy demand.

el/cjc (Reuters, AFP)

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