OPEC reports uptick in 2010 demand outlook

Marilyn Radler
OGJ Senior Editor-Economics

HOUSTON, Oct. 12 -- The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries has revised its forecast of 2010 global oil demand by 100,000 b/d in its latest monthly Oil Market Report, citing a world economy that continues to grow at a below-average pace.

OPEC left its forecast for 2011 oil demand growth unchanged from its previous report at 1 million b/d. OPEC expects that demand growth will stronger in the second half of next year and anticipates gains in energy efficiency.

The outlook for worldwide oil demand growth in 2010 now stands at 1.13 million b/d, driven by stronger-than-expected, stimulus-led economic growth in the first half of the year.

Demand will average 85.59 million b/d in 2010, according to the forecast, with almost all of the growth in countries outside the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. China’s oil demand is forecast to climb 460,000 b/d this year, averaging 8.7 million b/d.

“Despite some turbulence and setbacks, the global economic recovery continues to provide support for oil consumption. While oil demand in the third quarter has been supported by warm summer weather along with the driving season, however, it is not expected to be as strong as in the previous two quarters. The recovery in industrial activities has positively affected industrial fuel demand across the globe,” the report said.

Strong distillate demand ahead of the winter season has provided some support for product markets, but this has been partially offset by weak gasoline demand and oversupply in the Asian fuel oil market, OPEC reported. High stocks for light distillates amid refinery maintenance, combined with the oversupply in fuel oil, will keep product market sentiment bearish and continue to weigh on refinery margins over the coming months.

Non-OPEC oil supply is forecast to increase by 1 million b/d in 2010. This is up 100,000 b/d from the previous monthly report, mainly due to higher-than-expected supply from Canada, Mexico, and China.

In 2011, non-OPEC oil supply will climb 360,000 b/d due to output growth in Brazil, Canada, Azerbaijan, and Kazakhstan. OPEC natural gas liquids and unconventional oils are forecast to increase by 500,000 b/d in 2011, following growth of 400,000 b/d this year, OPEC reported.

Contact Marilyn Radler at marilynr@ogjonline.com.

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