Global oil supply falls in March on lower OPEC output - IEA

11 April 2013 11:35  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Global oil supply fell by 120,000 bbl/day in March compared with February to 90.7m bbl/day, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in its monthly oil market report on Wednesday, as a slight increase in non-OPEC output was offset by lower OPEC production.

However, compared with the same month in 2012, March production stood 140,000 bbl/day higher, as growth in non-OPEC liquids and OPEC natural gas liquids offset a 1.1m bbl/day decline in OPEC crude, the Paris-based organisation added.

Non-OPEC output for the first quarter of 2013 is forecast at 54m bbl/day, a gain of 650,000 bbl/day year on year, but a 240,000 bbl/day dip from high fourth-quarter 2012 levels following maintenance at Canada’s oil sands facilities, cyclones in Australia and a seasonal decline in global biofuels output.

For 2013 as a whole, non-OPEC supply is expected to grow by 1.1m bbl/day to 54.4m bbl/day as South Sudan resumes exports and other disruptions abate, the IEA said.

“OPEC crude oil supply turned lower in March in the wake of supply disruptions in Nigeria, Libya and Iraq and against a backdrop of seasonally weaker secondquarter refiner demand. Crude oil output was down 140,000 bbl/day to 30.44m bbl/day, as higher supplies from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait failed to offset reduced output from Iraq, Iran, Nigeria, Libya and Algeria,” it added.

The IEA’s forecast of global demand growth for 2013 has been revised down slightly by 45,000 bbl/day from last month’s report, to 90.6m bbl/day. Annual demand growth is now projected at 795,000 bbl/day.

“A weak macroeconomic environment is expected to keep demand growth relatively subdued for the remainder of the year,” the IEA said.

The reports also said oil futures prices declined in March, under the weight of renewed pessimism for the global economic outlook.

“Weaker crude demand, amid exceptionally deep seasonal maintenance at refineries, added to the pressure,” the IEA said.

In related news, on Wednesday OPEC said extensive planned refinery maintenance across the globe, along with renewed fears of the eurozone debt crisis, has put pressure on crude oil prices on the NYMEX and ICE exchanges as well as the OPEC Reference Basket.

By: Franco Capaldo
+44 (0)20 8652 3214

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