UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY) – OPEC said its oil production in March fell to a minimum in a year on the back of a contraction in supplies from Venezuela and Saudi Arabia, reports Bloomberg.
Most of the global surplus of oil was eliminated after 15 months of declining production of OPEC and its partners. While production in Venezuela is falling amid the economic crisis, world oil reserves will drop significantly in the second half of 2018, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ monthly report says.
According to secondary sources, 14 OPEC members last month reduced production by 201.4 thousand barrels per day (b / s), the maximum rate since November, to 31.958 million b / s. This is the minimum production level since March 2017.
According to secondary sources, the sharpest decline in production in March was observed in Angola. The country cut production by 81.7 thousand b / d compared to February to 1.524 million b / d.
The production of oil in Venezuela fell by 55.3 thousand b / s to 1.488 million b / s.
Saudi Arabia, the largest exporter of OPEC, according to secondary sources, in March, reduced production by 46.9 thousand b / s to 9.934 million b / s. According to the Kingdom’s own data, the volume of production fell by 28 thousand b / d compared to February to 9.907 million b / s.
The largest increase in production in March was observed in the United Arab Emirates. According to Tuesday sources, oil production in the country increased by 44.9 thousand b / s to 2.886 million b / s.
Forecast of demand and production
OPEC increased the forecast for the growth in oil supplies from non-cartel countries by 80,000 b / d to 1.71 million b / s in 2018. This is largely due to a larger than expected growth in production in the I quarter in the US and countries of the former Soviet Union.
At the same time, OPEC raised the forecast for growth in oil demand for this year by 30 thousand b / s to 1.63 million b / s. According to the cartel, the demand for oil this year will be 97.07 million b / s.
“This mainly reflects the positive momentum in the OECD in the first quarter of 2018 amid better than expected data and is supported by the development of industrial activity, the colder than expected weather and active mining in the Americas of the OECD and Asia-Pacific Pacific region of the OECD, “the OPEC report says.
Demand for OPEC oil in 2018 is expected to be 32.6 million b / d. This is by 0.3 million b / s below the level of 2017.
Preliminary data for February show that commercial oil reserves in OECD countries decreased by 17.4 million barrels and amounted to 2.854 billion barrels.
The level of reserves is 207 million barrels lower than a year earlier. Nevertheless, stocks of 43 million barrels more than the average for the past five years, according to a report by OPEC. Since January 2017, surplus stocks have fallen by 294 million barrels.
The reserves of crude oil in February decreased by 0.5 million barrels. At the same time, reserves of oil products decreased by 16.9 million barrels.
OPEC and a group of producers outside the cartel, including Russia, agreed on November 30 to extend the agreement to reduce production by the end of 2018. Participants in the deal seek to reduce commercial oil reserves in OECD countries to an average of five years and support prices.
At a meeting in Vienna in June, oil producers will decide on a further course of action.