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OPEC boosts 2014 demand estimate on economic recovery

GRANT SMITH

VIENNA, Austria (Bloomberg) -- OPEC bolstered forecasts for the amount of crude it will need to provide this year as the economic recovery stokes global fuel consumption. Iraq, its second-largest member, pumped the most oil since 1980.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, responsible for 40% of the world’s oil supply, said its 12 members will need to produce an average of 29.7 MMbbl/d this year, 100,000 bbl/d more than forecast last month. The amount required is about 400,000 bbl/d less than the group said it pumped in February, when output surpassed 30 million a day for the first time since August.

“The global economy will see a gradual recovery in 2014, led by growth acceleration” in developed economies, OPEC’s Vienna-based secretariat said in its monthly market report. “A key determinant for this increase in world oil demand will be the pace of growth in the emerging economies.”

West Texas Intermediate, the American benchmark crude, advanced to a four-month high of $104.92 a barrel on March 3 amid signs that recovery is gaining momentum in the U.S., the world’s largest oil consumer. Prices have subsequently slipped, trading at about $99 a barrel today, amid concern that growth may slow in emerging economies such as China.

Global oil consumption will increase by 1.14 MMbbl/d, or 1.3%, this year to an average of 91.14 million a day, according to OPEC’s report. That’s 50,000 a day more than the estimate in last month’s report.

Iraq’s production jumped by 400,000 bbl/d to 3.4 MMbbl/d in February, the highest since 1980, according to OPEC data.

Total OPEC crude production increased by 258,600 bbl/d in February to 30.1 million, the highest level since August, as Iraq compensated for reductions in Libya and Saudi Arabia, the group said, citing data from secondary sources. Group output is in line with its current collective target of 30 MMbbl/d.

Supplies from Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest exporter, declined by 101,900 bbl/d to 9.63 million.

OPEC also raised estimates for supplies from outside the group in 2014, by 30,000 bbl/d. Non-OPEC producers, led by the U.S., Canada and Brazil, will increase production by 1.31 MMbbl/d to 55.49 million a day.

The group will next meet on June 11 in Vienna to discuss output targets.

03/12/2014

 

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