OPEC crude production gained for a second month in January as the group boosted its forecast for global oil-demand growth this year.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, responsible for 40 percent of the world’s oil, said that supply from its 12 members increased by 28,000 barrels a day to 29.71 million barrels a day in January as Libya pumped more, according to its monthly report. That compares with 29.68 million barrels a day in December, OPEC said, citing data from secondary sources. The group raised its estimate for global demand growth amid an improving outlook for the world economy.
“Demand in 2014 is projected to see some improvement,” OPEC said. “Economic conditions in the U.S. and Europe may turn out better than expected.”
Brent crude futures have slipped 1.6 percent this year, trading at about $109 a barrel in London today. That’s within the $100 to $110 range that OPEC’s Secretary-General Abdalla El-Badri said was acceptable to both producers and consumers at a Jan. 27 conference in London. The group agreed in December to maintain its output ceiling of 30 million barrels a day.
Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s largest producer, pumped 9.63 million barrels a day last month, down from 9.74 million in December, according to OPEC. The country said in direct communication with the group that it produced 9.77 million barrels in January versus 9.82 million a day the previous month.
Libya’s output rose to 510,000 barrels a day last month, more than doubling from 240,000 barrels in December.
World oil consumption this year is forecast to increase by 1.09 million barrels a day, or 1.2 percent, to 90.98 million, OPEC said. That’s an upward revision of 45,000 barrels.
Non-OPEC supplies will increase by 1.29 million barrels to 55.43 million barrels a day, bolstered by gains in the U.S., Canada and Brazil, the group estimated.
The International Energy Agency, the Paris-based adviser to oil-consuming nations, will release its monthly report with forecasts of supply and demand tomorrow.
OPEC’s 12 members are Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the U.A.E. and Venezuela. The group will next meet on June 11 in Vienna to discuss output targets.
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