OPEC says economic uncertainty creates downside risks to global oil demand

Azerbaijan, Baku, March 12 / Trend A. Badalova /

Global oil demand growth will not change much in 2012 from the last year, however risks remain on the downside as the economic outlook for the remainder of the year is still uncertain and retail oil prices are in the upper band, OPEC believes.

According to OPEC's March oil market report, global oil demand will increase by 0.9 million barrels per day (mln bpd) to 88.63 mln bpd in 2012 compared to 87.77 mln bpd in 2011, says.

According to OPEC's forecasts, the highest level of global oil demand this year will occur in the fourth quarter - 89.74 mln bpd. In the first quarter of 2012, the demand will be 87.84 mln bpd, the second - 87.41 mln bpd, in the third quarter - 89.5 mln bpd.

Oil demand in OECD countries this year is expected to decrease by 0.22 mln bpd to 45.56 mln bpd.

"The weakness in the OECD economies is negatively affecting the oil market and creating a high range of uncertainty for the rest of the year," OPEC says.

Developing countries' oil demand is expected to increase by 0.57 mln bpd to average 28.23 mln bpd in 2012.

OPEC forecasts oil demand in China in 2012 to amount to 9.8 mln bpd.

OPEC supply

According to the report, OPEC oil production increased by 144,000 bpd to 30.97 mln bpd in February, 2012.

Libya, Angola, and Iraq crude oil production indicated increases in February, from the previous month, while crude output from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Iran encountered a decrease.

OPEC production, not including Iraq, averaged 28.27 mln bpd, up by 120,000 bpd from January.

According to OPEC estimates, in February the volume of global oil supplies decreased by 31,000 mln bpd to 89.11 mln bpd.

The share of OPEC crude oil in global production amounted to 35 percent in February January.

Non-OPEC supply

According to the forecasts, non-OPEC supply will increase by 0.61 mln bpd and average 52.95 mln. bpd in 2012 compared to 53.07 mln bpd predicted by OPEC last month.

The majority of the downward revision relates to the first half of the year, while the second half supply outlook remains relatively steady, OPEC says.

On a quarterly basis, non-OPEC supply is expected to average 52.74 mln bpd, 52.71 mln bpd, 52.96 mln bpd and 53.37 mln bpd respectively.

According to OPEC forecasts, oil supplies by OECD countries will increased by 0.27 mln bpd to 20.34 mln bpd in 2012.

Oil production in the U.S. is projected at 15.82 mln bpd in 2012 compared to 15.5 mln bpd in 2011.

According to the OPEC forecasts, the countries of the former Soviet Union (FSU) will supply 13.37 mln bpd in 2012 or 0.12 mln bpd more than in 2011.

OPEC expects Middle East oil supply to decline by 0.12 mln bpd to 1.56 mln bpd in 2012.

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