Opec holds steady forecast for oil demand

May 14, 2014 - 4:52:28 am

LONDON: Opec said its current output is helping to meet global demand fully and leading to a balanced oil market in 2014, a further sign the exporter group is unlikely to alter output policy at a June meeting.

In a monthly report yesterday, the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries also raised the forecast demand for its crude oil in 2014 to 29.76 million barrels per day (bpd), up 110,000bpd from the previous estimate.

“Along with the ongoing increase in non-Opec supply, current Opec production will contribute to fully meet expected demand, resulting in a fairly balanced market this year,” the report from Opec’s Vienna headquarters said.

The report adds to indications Opec’s June 11 meeting is unlikely to come up with major surprises. On Monday, Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said the group should leave its output target unchanged, citing a “fairly stable” market. Oil has stayed above Saudi’s preferred level of $100 a barrel all year.

Opec’s crude oil output rose in April from March, the report showed, but remained lower than this year’s global requirement and Opec’s nominal supply target of 30 million bpd, largely as a result of outages in Libya rather than voluntary cutbacks.

According to secondary sources cited by the report, Opec output rose by 131,000bpd to 29.59 million bpd, largely due to higher Iraqi and Saudi Arabian supply. This is the last monthly report scheduled for publication before Opec meets in Vienna to consider adjusting the output target, which has been in place since January 2012.

Saudi Arabia’s Naimi, Opec’s most influential voice, said on Monday the group should leave the target unchanged, saying demand was “great” and supply “highly sufficient.” Reuters