Energy Economy

OPEC Forecasts Higher Crude Demand in 2014

Paul Ausick

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) released its Monthly Oil Market Report Wednesday morning, and the headline number is an increase of 50,000 barrels a day to the cartel’s estimated demand growth for 2014. OPEC now expects global demand for crude to rise by 1.14 million barrels a day to a total daily demand of 91.1 million barrels a day.

OPEC increased its demand forecast by the same amount in February and reiterated that sentiment again this month. The cartel expects demand from developed countries to rise more than originally believed. China is still the main growth driver, with anticipated demand growth of 3.34% in 2014, or 340,000 barrels a day. Demand from the Middle East, where oil is used to generate electricity, is expected to grow by 310,000 barrels a day in 2014, while U.S. demand is pegged to grow by 150,000 barrels a day.

Global supply totaled 91.3 million barrels a day in February, which was 200,000 barrels more than OPEC’s new demand forecast. Non-OPEC supply for 2014 is forecast to rise by 1.31 million barrels a day to average 55.49 million barrels a day. That represents an upward revision of 60,000 barrels a day from last month’s estimate. Two-thirds of the increase is expected to come from North America.

OPEC’s own February production totaled 31.41 million barrels a day. Iraqi production rose by 562,000 barrels a day to 3.41 million barrels, while Libyan production fell by nearly 104,000 barrels a day compared with January. Libyan production remains about half a million barrels a day below its February 2013 total of 993,000 barrels a day.