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Oil market to end 2015 in downbeat mood; hangover to be long, painful

Oil prices rose on Thursday but were still headed for a second year of steep declines after a race to pump by Middle East crude producers and U.S. shale oil drillers created an unprecedented global glut that may take through 2016 to clear.

Global oil benchmark Brent and U.S. crude’s West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures were up about 3 percent on the day on short-covering and buying support in a thinly-traded market.

But Brent and WTI were on track to finish 2015 down 30 percent or more after another year that showed the helplessness of Saudi Arabia and other members of the once-powerful Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in boosting oil prices.

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