OPEC Fears US Output May Dim Prospects Of Its Oil Demand

Yemisi Izuora

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, has raised fear of possible lower demand for its crude oil in 2020 even as global demand rises, it said on Wednesday.

The OPEC’s fear is hinged on attempts by rival producers to grab market share and as the United States looks set for another output record.

The United States, which has seen its output soar in recent years powered by shale, will see total liquids output exceed a 20 million barrel per day (bpd) milestone for the first time, the OPEC forecasts in its market report.

U.S. liquids output will reach 20.21 million bpd in the fourth quarter of 2020 almost meeting U.S. demand of 21.34 million bpd, OPEC said.

It lowered its 2020 demand forecast for OPEC crude by 0.1 million barrels per day to 29.5 million.

That would be around 1.2 million bpd lower than in the whole of 2019 and in line with December production, when OPEC’s share of global output fell 0.1 percentage point month on month to 29.4 per cent.

This year, it said OPEC’s market share is set to fall further as output booms in non-OPEC rivals including the United States, Brazil, Canada, Australia, Norway and Guyana while global demand is rising.

OPEC said it had raised its overall 2020 oil demand growth outlook by 0.14 million bpd to 1.22 million bpd from the previous month, reflecting an improved economic outlook and booming demand in India and China. If that growth materialises it would be 30 per cent stronger than in 2019.

It raised its forecast for non-OPEC oil supply growth in 2020 by 0.18 million bpd to 2.35 million bpd, up from 1.86 million bpd in 2019.

“The continued accommodative monetary policies, coupled with an improvement in financial markets, could provide further support to ongoing increases in non-OPEC supply,” OPEC said.

OPEC and some non-OPEC allies such as Russia have been curbing production to prevent an oil glut and support oil prices above $60 per barrel. Their current deal expires in March.

“The collaboration between OPEC and non-OPEC producing countries remains essential in maintaining stability in the oil market,” OPEC said.

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