OPEC: Oil demand estimates converge but better data is still needed

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY) – Oil demand estimates from major government agencies on crude forecasts are converging, but more needs to be done to improve the quality of global market data, an OPEC official said on Tuesday.

The lack of transparency on demand for oil, supply and stocks has long been considered to cause excessive price volatility. The JUDI, which collects and publishes data, is an attempt by producers and consumers to get a clearer picture.

Aziz Jihai, an OPEC research analyst at the Judy Information Symposium in New Delhi, reviewed a drop in oil demand estimates from the International Energy Agency, the US Energy Information Administration and OPEC.

Estimates in July 2016 from the three major government institutions on crude oil demand forecasts for 2017 ranged from just over 95 million barrels per day (bpd) to over 97 million barrels per day (bpd), with the outlook for the coming months narrowing.

“There has been some improvement,” Yahia said. “Two or three years ago, the difference was about two million barrels a day, but now it is around one million.”

But the 1 million bpd discrepancy still accounts for about 1 percent of the global market, making it difficult to produce accurate forecasts, Yahia said.

While Judy’s database is an important source of information not available elsewhere, it has shortcomings, including lack of information on stocks and insufficient data on major consumers such as China, Russia and the United Arab Emirates.

“Global inventory levels are the source of the accuracy of supply and demand figures. However, the absence or inaccuracy of inventory data makes it very difficult to give an accurate assessment. ”

Jodi’s partners include OPEC and the International Energy Agency, which advises energy-consuming countries. Jodi was originally founded in 2001 to focus on oil, but later expanded its scope to include natural gas.

The judy seminar was held at the World Energy Forum, a forum for producers and consumers hosted by New Delhi this week.