Fossil fuel is a general term for buried combustible geologic deposits of organic materials, formed from decayed plants and animals that have been converted to crude oil, coal, natural gas, or heavy oils by exposure to heat and pressure in the earth's crust over hundreds of millions of years. (Archive /Jean-Sebastien Evrard/AFP/Getty Images)

A growing U.S.-China trade dispute could hurt oil demand growth this year and next if the global economy takes a hit, the International Energy Agency (IEA) warned on Friday.

The two countries have announced plans to increase tariffs on a range of goods, and these trade tensions “might escalate and lead to slower economic growth, and in turn lower oil demand,” the energy body said in its monthly market outlook.

The IEA also warned that new U.S. sanctions on Iran later this year could make maintaining global supply “very challenging”, reports Reuters, and “would come at the expense of maintaining an adequate spare capacity cushion”.

Meanwhile, Royal Dutch Shell “is doubling down” on deepwater drilling, with break-even prices for extracting oil now down to around $30 a barrel.

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