IEA sees relative stability on oil markets in past month

Crude oil markets and prices have been relatively stable over the past month and the prospects for the rest of 2018 regarding demand growth show no major changes, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Thursday.

Demand this year is expected to increase 1.5 million barrels per day (mbpd) to 99.3 mbpd, but this corresponds to a hike of only 90,000 b/d from previous estimates and is what the IEA called a “modest revision.” Estimates for global demand in 2017, which will be finalized in the coming months, are still put at 97.8 mbpd, unchanged from the month-earlier IEA report.

Global oil supply in February eased to 97.9 mbpd and was up by 700,000 b/d from a year ago due to higher non-OPEC output, according to the latest data.

Strong growth in US output is expected to boost this year’s non-OPEC supply expansion to 1.8 mbpd from 760,000 b/d in 2017. Meanwhile, output from the OPEC producer group slipped back to 32.1 mbpd in February, led by drops in Venezuela and the UAE. Pressure on OPEC supply is growing, the IEA said, noting that “the call on OPEC crude” is now pegged at 32.6 mbpd for the second quarter of 2018, or around 480,000 b/d above OPEC’s current production levels.

Stocks in the industrialized OECD countries rose in January for the first time in seven months now stand at 2.871 billion barrels, but the IEA remarked that the stock rise in January was only about 50 percent of usual inventory build for that time of the year.

Source: Kuwait News Agency