OPEC’s Stable Market Outlook Points to Status Quo at Meeting

OPEC-OPEK

OPEC kept forecasts for global oil supply and demand unchanged in its last monthly assessment before members meet to review the market.

The 13 nations of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries pumped 32.44 million barrels a day in April, slightly less than will be required to meet demand in the third quarter. Production rose as gains in Iran and Iraq compensated for losses in Nigeria and Kuwait. Investment by the global oil industry through 2018 will slump to less than half the amount spent from 2012 to 2014 following the collapse in prices, OPEC said.

Oil prices have rebounded more than 75 percent from the lows reached in February as U.S. shale production falters, signaling that Saudi Arabia’s strategy to re-balance oversupplied world markets is taking effect. OPEC, which failed to complete an accord with non-members last month on capping output, has no current plans to revive supply limits when ministers meet on June 2, six delegates said on May 4.

“We shouldn’t expect any freeze and definitely not any cut because OPEC sees things are improving from a fundamental point of view,” said Torbjoern Kjus, an analyst at DNB ASA in Oslo. “The structural decline based on lower investment is starting to show up in numbers for non-OPEC. That damage is done, even if prices recover in the second half.”

April Increase

OPEC production increased by 188,200 barrels a day last month to 32.44 million, according to the report. While the group’s supply has typically exceeded the required amount in recent months, April output is about 380,000 barrels a day below the 32.8 million that OPEC estimates will be needed in the third quarter. That potential shortfall is a further indication the organization’s policy is working.

Global oil demand will increase by 1.2 million barrels a day, or 1.3 percent, this year to 94.18 million a day, according to the report. Supplies from outside the group will shrink by 740,000 barrels a day to 56.4 million.
“A return to balance is a shared interest among consumers and producers alike,” the group’s Vienna-based research department said in the monthly report.

Source: Bloomberg

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