Oil production outside Opec at modern peak

PRODUCTION outside the world’s traditional oil-rich nations has ballooned during the past year, rising to nearly half of the global output.

According to the latest report on the market by the International Energy Agency (IEA), countries outside the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) are producing the most that they have in decades.

States not included in Opec produced 43m barrels of crude oil per day this year, nearly half of the world’s total demand for oil, which rose to 91bn.

According to the group, US consumption of oil in November reached the highest one-month level since 2008, as the American economy returns to strength.

Forecasts for oil demand in the year ahead were also hiked, with 1.2m barrels per day now expected, up by over 100,000 barrels from the September prediction. The IEA had initially predicted demand for 895,000 barrels of oil per day this year.

Earlier this week, a separate report by the organisation noted the dependence of emerging south east Asian economies on coal for energy, predicting that they will increasingly move away from gas and towards coal over the rest of this decade.

The world’s energy markets have been transformed in the past year by the continual growth of US shale gas production. Earlier in the year, the IEA projected that the US will become practically self sufficient in energy, surpassing Russia as the world’s biggest supplier of gas.

Yesterday, Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s outlook for the year noted how the American economy has been boosted by changes in the energy market: “On a comparative basis, no other economy has been able to turn around its trade balance for energy so sharply in such a short period of time... This surge in relative competitiveness sets the US economy on a unique recovery path, reinforcing our bullish view.”