Global growth will boost oil use, says IEA

City A.M. Reporter
GLOBAL oil demand will rise more quickly this year as economic growth in industrialised countries accelerates, absorbing more supply even as US shale oil production reaches record highs, the energy watchdog said yesterday.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) said world oil consumption would increase by 1.3m barrels per day (bpd) in 2014, 50,000 bpd higher than previously forecast.

“Global oil demand growth appears to have gradually gained momentum in the last 18 months, driven by economic recovery in the developed world,” the IEA commented in its monthly report.

“Most OECD economies have by now largely exited the restraints of recession, with strong gains in some countries in the energy-intensive manufacturing and petrochemical sectors.”

Oil demand growth has been boosted by a robust economic rebound in the United States, where the IEA has revised up its 2013 demand estimate by 180,000 bpd to 18.9m bpd.

US oil production is increasing rapidly and is forecast to rise by 780,000 bpd this year, but the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will also have to pump more to meet increasing demand.

The IEA, which advises most of the largest energy-consuming countries on energy policy, raised its demand forecast for OPEC oil this year by 200,000 bpd to 29.4m bpd.

Last year, political unrest led to a plunge in Libyan exports, at times to less than 10 per cent of capacity, and more Iranian barrels disappeared from the market due to sanctions.

But OPEC crude oil supply edged higher in December, reversing four months of declines, the IEA said, with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates leading the increase.

Libya saw a modest rise, and Iraq was the only member to post a fall.

Iranian supplies contracted by 200,000 bpd last year but edged higher in December as diplomatic activity aimed at halting Tehran's nuclear activity gained momentum.

The IEA said rising US crude production helped balance the effects of supply disruptions among some OPEC countries.