IEA: Oil glut steepens, OPEC battle for oil market share just beginning

Source:International Energy Agency

Though US light tight oil production slows, robust OPEC output bolsters steep oil supply growth, according to the latest IEA Oil Market Report

Despite slowing US output of light tight oil, global oil supply growth remained at a steep 3.2 million barrels per day (mb/d) year-on-year in April, according to the IEA Oil Market Report (OMR) for May. At 95.7 mb/d, total oil supplies were flat from March as higher OPEC output offset a drop in non-OPEC production. Non-OPEC supply growth for 2015 is projected at 830 000 barrels per day (830 kb/d), up by 200 kb/d since the April OMR.

OPEC crude supply rose by 160 kb/d to 31.21 mb/d in April – the highest since September 2012, and nearly 1.4 mb/d above a year earlier – as Iraq and Iran boosted output and top exporter Saudi Arabia held flows above 10 mb/d. Upward revisions to non-OPEC supply lower “the call on OPEC” by 0.3 mb/d for the second half of 2015, to 30 mb/d.

The May OMR projects global oil demand growth at 1.1 mb/d for 2015, to 93.6 mb/d, up from 0.7 mb/d in 2014. The forecast is unchanged since last month as an improving economic outlook for Europe and a cold winter lift projections of OECD demand but only offset reduced expectations for the former Soviet Union, the Middle East and Latin America.

Global refinery crude runs are expected to dip seasonally to 77.8 mb/d in the current quarter, from 78.2 mb/d in the first quarter of 2015. Estimates for both quarters have been lifted markedly since the April OMR on robust runs in Asia and Europe. Annual gains, of 1.4 mb/d for both the first and second quarters, largely shift to the non-OECD region in the current quarter.

OECD industry oil stocks rose counter-seasonally in March by 38.4 mb, led by US crude. Refined products meanwhile inched lower and by end-month covered 30.3 days of forward demand, level with a month earlier. Preliminary data indicate OECD stocks continued on an upward trend, building by 35.8 mb in April.

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