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OPEC expects more oil supply from competitors in 2018 and stronger demand for crude

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY) –¬†OPEC on Thursday revised its forecast for output growth from its rivals in 2018, nearly three times higher than its revised global oil demand growth forecast.

Oil supplies from independent producers are expected to grow by an additional 80,000 barrels per day this year to 1.71 million bpd, led by higher-than-expected growth in the first quarter in the United States and the former Soviet Union, it said.

At the same time, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) increased its forecast for world oil demand growth this year by 30 thousand barrels per day to 1.63 million barrels per day.

“This mainly reflects the positive momentum of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development in the first quarter of 2018 against better-than-forecast data, supported by developments in industrial activities, the colder weather than expected and the strength of mining activities in the OECD countries,” OPEC said in its monthly market report. Americas and the Asia-Pacific region “.

The Vienna-based group, which has 14 members, said its total production according to secondary sources fell by 201,000 bpd to 31.96 million bpd in March, led by declines in Angola, Algeria, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and Libya.

Secondary sources indicated that production in the United Arab Emirates recorded the largest monthly increase, up about 45 thousand barrels per day in March to 2.86 million barrels per day.

Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s biggest producer, told the group it pumped 9.907 million barrels per day (bpd) in March, less than 28,000 bpd below its February production level.

Venezuela said its output was 1.509 million barrels per day (bpd) in March, less than 77,000 barrels per day below its level announced in February.

OPEC, Russia and other off-world producers began to cut supply in January 2017, in an effort to shed global bounty on crude supply since 2014.

The production cut-off agreement runs until the end of this year, and OPEC is due to hold a meeting in Vienna in June to decide on its next move.

Oil inventories in developed countries fell 17.4 million barrels in February, after rising in January to 2.854 billion barrels, more than the five-year average of 43 million barrels.

The stock levels are 207 million barrels lower than their levels in February 2017.