EIA: Worldwide liquid fuels consumption to rise in 2013-14

Worldwide liquid fuels consumption will reach 90.1 million b/d in 2013 and 91.5 million b/d in 2014, due to a moderate recovery in global economic growth, the US Energy Information Administration forecast in its latest Short-Term Energy Outlook. EIA estimates that world liquid fuels consumption was 89.1 million b/d in 2012.

As oil product inventories are restocked and new refining capacity comes on line, refinery crude oil inputs in China are to be bolstered in 2013, EIA said. Liquid fuels consumption in China is forecast to increase by 450,000 b/d in 2013 and by 510,000 b/d in 2014, compared with annual average growth of 540,000 b/d from 2004 through 2010.

Because of declining consumption in Europe, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development liquid fuels consumption will further fall by 0.3 million b/d in 2013, EIA projected. The decline will be halted in 2014 in response to a higher economic growth in Europe.

In the US, EIA expects total liquid fuels consumption will grow modestly by 30,000 b/d in 2013, up 0.1% from last year, and by another 80,000 b/d in 2014. Distillate fuel consumption, which fell by 160,000 b/d in 2012, increases at an average annual rate of 10,000 b/d in 2013 and 60,000 b/d in 2014, driven by industrial output growth and colder winter weather. Motor gasoline and jet fuel consumption remain flat in 2013 and 2014 as increasing travel is offset by fuel economy improvements, EIA said.

EIA forecast that total liquids production from outside the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (non-OPEC) will increase by 1.2 million b/d in 2013 and by another 1.4 million b/d in 2014. Increases over the next 2 years in non-OPEC supply will be concentrated in North America because of continued production growth in US tight oil formations and Canadian oil sands.

Projected US crude oil production will increase rapidly to average 7.3 million b/d in 2013 and 7.9 million b/d in 2014, from an average 6.5 million b/d in 2012. EIA expects that US crude oil production will exceed US crude oil imports as early as yearend.

As the result of the shutdown of a North Sea crude oil pipeline due to oil leaks and production problems at the Buzzard field in the UK sector of the North Sea, unplanned production outages in non-OPEC countries increased to about 0.9 million b/d in February. Syria and South Sudan continue to account for more than 60% of the total disruption to non-OPEC production.

OPEC supply is forecast to decrease by 0.4 million b/d in 2013 from 2012 and then increase by 0.5 million b/d in 2014. The production cut of Saudi Arabia contributes most to the decline in 2013. EIA is maintaining its Venezuelan production forecast based on the assumption that current oil policies will be continued after the death of President Hugo Chavez.

EIA expects the spot price of Brent crude oil to fall to annual averages of $108/bbl in 2013 and $101/bbl in 2014 from an average of $112/bbl in 2012, with the increasing supply of liquid fuels from non-OPEC countries. The projected WTI price averages $92/bbl in both 2013 and 2014.

US natural gas consumption will average 70 bcfd in both 2013 and 2014, according to EIA’s estimate. Projected natural gas marketed production will increase to 69.6 bcfd in 2013 and remain flat in 2014, from 69.1 bcfd in 2012.

The Henry Hub spot price averaged $3.33/MMbtu in February, relatively unchanged from the previous 2 months. EIA forecasts that the Henry Hub spot price will average $3.41/MMbtu in 2013 and $3.63/MMbtu in 2014.

Contact Conglin Xu at conglinx@ogjonline.com.

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