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( The media is full with news that there is a global oil glut.

There are now more than 3bn barrels of excess oil in the world

Record oil glut stands at 3bn barrels

It was parroted by the Australian public broadcaster ABC TV, using this (unsuitable) opportunity to take a swipe at peak oil:

Peak oil losing credibility as renewables shift accelerates

“With the world awash with too much crude oil at the moment, the fear of an economic catastrophe when fossil fuels start running out is quietly fading in the background.”

These stories go back to the IEA’s Monthly Oil Market Report (OMR), November 2015 which reads:

“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.”

So how much is 3 bn barrels? Let’s have a look at the statistics in the latest IEA OMR of December 2015. It’s only about OECD stocks, not the whole world.