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The world’s oil marketplace perhaps isn’t becoming as fragmented and regionalized as many producers – particularly those in the Canadian oil sands – have begun fearing. In some respects it’s a smaller world than it has ever been.

The International Energy Agency’s latest monthly oil market report uses the phrase “violent structural change” to describe what’s going on in the global market beneath the surface of a fairly flat, lifeless phase for oil prices themselves. Divergent trends have not only formed in both demand and supply patterns, but also appear to be widening.

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