OPEC: Oil market will be less volatile in 2016

OPEC raises forecast for oil demand growth, predicting an ease in global oil glut, as consumption is expected to rise while output from rival producers are expected to fall

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

The global oil market should be more balanced next year as China and the developing world increase oil consumption while supply of shale oil from North America and other regions grows more slowly, OPEC said on Monday.

In its monthly report, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said it expected world oil demand to increase by 1.34 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2016, up from growth of 1.28 million bpd this year.

This would outpace the growth of oil supply from non-OPEC sources and ultra-light oils such as condensate, increasing demand for OPEC crude oil, it said.

"This would imply an improvement towards a more balanced market," OPEC's in-house economists said in the report.

OPEC said it expected demand for its own crude oil to rise by 860,000 bpd in 2016 to 30.07 million bpd. But it cut its estimate of demand for its crude this year by 100,000 bpd to 29.21 million bpd.

Supply of oil from non-OPEC producers was expected to grow by only 300,000 bpd in 2016, down sharply from growth of 860,000 bpd this year.

U.S. oil output, which has seen rapid increases over the last five years thanks to the development of huge shale resources by "fracking", is expected to log much more modest supply growth in 2016.

"Total U.S. liquids production is expected to grow by 330,000 bpd, just one third of the growth of 930,000 bpd expected this year," it said.

World oil supply has grown much faster than demand this year, led by OPEC as its core members in the Middle East Gulf attempt to build market share, leading to higher inventories.
Saudi Arabia, in particular, has pushed up its oil production to record highs, industry sources say.

OPEC estimated, based on figures from secondary sources, that its own group crude oil output rose 283,000 bpd to 31.38 million bpd in June, led by Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Nigeria.

It said Saudi Arabia had told it that it pumped 10.56 million bpd last month, up 231,000 bpd from May.