Oil bulls have had it rough lately. Every time prices seem to find their footing for a recovery, a new development comes along to shatter the fragile confidence and send prices tumbling to new lows.

First it was OPEC’s decision to maintain output levels despite growing global inventories last November. Theories abound as to the motivations behind the decision – whether to squeeze capital intensive US shale producers out of the market or gobble up market share for Saudi Arabia ahead of a rehabilitated Iran – but the result was an indisputable plunge in oil prices from $115 in mid-June 2014 to below $70 by mid-December.