Crude oil supplies "abundant" according to Opec, but predicted slowdown could be deeper than feared
Opec said it considers crude supplies to be "abundant" and that an expected slowdown in oil demand growth next year may be more severe than forecast if the global economy deteriorates.
The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) predicts that the increase in world oil consumption will decline to 800,000 barrels a day in 2013, from 900,000 a day this year, according to its monthly market report released today. The group estimates its 12 members will need to pump an average of 29.5 million barrels a day next year, or 1.9 million less than current output levels.
"Downside risk exists as the economic slowdown in the developed countries could increasingly spill over" into emerging economies, the group's Vienna-based secretariat said.
"Crude oil stocks remain at comfortable levels, especially in the US market."
Brent crude futures have lost 11 per cent from this year's peak amid concern that Europe's continued sovereign debt crisis will damage the global economy and restrain fuel use. Even after the drop, current prices are not justified by supply and demand levels, Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said on Monday.
Global economic growth will decelerate to 3.2 per cent in 2013 from 3.3 per cent this year, according to Opec. World demand World oil demand will increase 0.9 per cent to 89.55 million barrels a day in 2013, according to Opec. That compares with growth of one per cent, to 88.74 million a day, anticipated for this year.
Brent traded at $114.98 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange at 10:42am local time, having reached a peak this year of $128.40 on March 1. Opec's production advanced by 254,000 barrels a day in August to 31.41 million barrels, led by higher production from Angola, the group said, citing secondary sources. That leaves the organisation's output about 1.4 million above the 30- million-barrel ceiling agreed at their last meeting in June.