OPEC Raises Demand Forecast for Its Crude, Trims Other Suppliers

OPEC boosted estimates of the amount of crude it will need to supply next year after trimming forecasts for oil production from outside the group.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said in a monthly report that its 12 members will need to provide an average of 29.8 million barrels a day in 2013, about 200,000 more than estimated last month. The group reduced its forecast for output from outside the group for next year by the same amount, to 53.89 million barrels because of lower-than-expected growth in emerging nations. Still, world markets will remain “characterized by high volumes of crude supply and increasing production capacity,” the organization said.

“The outlook for production from India and other Africa in 2013 were revised down on the back of updated data in 2012, which provided an insight into the expectations for 2013,” OPEC’s Vienna-based secretariat said today in its Monthly Oil Market Report.

Brent crude futures have advanced 6 percent this year, as concern that tensions with Iran and violence in Syria may lead to wider supply losses counter signs that the economic recovery is faltering. Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said yesterday that prices for Brent, trading near $114 a barrel today, are “still high” and that the kingdom would prefer a level of $100.

Global Demand

OPEC kept its forecast for global oil demand in 2013 unchanged, predicting that consumption will increase by 780,000 barrels a day, or 0.9 percent, to 89.6 million a day. Growth in non-OPEC supply coupled with natural gas liquids has outpaced demand this year, a trend that will probably to continue into next year, the group said.

Non-OPEC producers will increase output by 890,000 barrels a day next year, driven by growth in the U.S. and Canada, according to OPEC.

OPEC production fell by 265,000 barrels a day last month to 31.08 million a day, according to secondary sources cited by the report. That’s 410,000 a day more than the average amount the group considers needed to meet their customers’ requirements this quarter, and about 1 million more than the target members reaffirmed at their last meeting in June.

Oil inventories held by companies in the most industrialized nations were 46 million barrels below their five-year average in August after dropping “sharply” to 2.67 billion barrels, according to the report. In the U.S., the world’s largest consumer of crude, stockpiles were 28.6 million barrels higher than their five-year mean at 364.7 million.

OPEC’s members are Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela. The organization is next scheduled to meet on Dec. 12 in Vienna.

The International Energy Agency, a Paris-based adviser to consuming nations, will release its monthly report on global oil supply and demand on Oct. 12.

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