According to the IEA Oil Market Report for March, global oil demand growth has steadily risen since bottoming out in the second quarter of 2014, with year on year gains estimated at approximately 0.9 million bpd for the final quarter of last year and 1 million bpd for the current quarter. The forecast of demand growth for all of this year has been increased by 75 000 bpd to 1 million bpd, bringing global demand to an average 93.5 million bpd.
Global supply increased by 1.3 million bpd year on year to approximately 94 million bpd in February, led by a 1.4 million bpd gain in non-OPEC output. Declines in the US rig count are yet to dent North American output growth, the IEA have reported. Final December and preliminary current quarter data has shown higher than expected US crude supply, increasing the 2015 North American outlook.
For OPEC, crude output dropped down by 90 000 bpd in February to 30.22 million bpd, as losses in Libya and Iraq offset higher supply from Saudi Arabia, Iran and Angola. The slightly higher demand forecast has raised the call on OPEC crude for the second half of this year to 30.3 million bpd, above the group’s official 30 million bpd target.
Estimates of global refinery throughputs of crude have been increased to 77.8 million bpd for this quarter and 77.3 million bpd for the second quarter on sustained high margins and a slightly more robust oil demand outlook. Annual gains are forecast at approximately 1 million bpd for the first half of this year, down form a sharp 2.2 million bpd in the final quarter of last year and in line with projected oil product demand growth.
OECD commercial stocks increased by a weaker than average 23.1 million bbls in January, to 2.733 million bbls, trimming surplus to average 60.3 million bbls. US crude stocks increased to a record 72 million bbls surplus. Preliminary data show stocks drew by a weak 8.8 million bbls in February as extended US crude builds offset steep weather related product draws.
Edited from various sources by Claira Lloyd