IEA: Global oil demand for fourth-quarter 2013 revised upward

Global oil consumption during fourth-quarter 2013 was adjusted to 92.1 million b/d, according to the International Energy Agency’s most recent Oil Market Report. The total, which marks a 135,000-b/d upward revision from last month’s OMR report, was adjusted because of exceptionally strong US demand since October, partly offset by reduced Chinese fourth-quarter 2013 demand.

Global demand for 2014 is expected to rise by 1.3 million b/d to 92.5 million b/d from the 1.2 million b/d rise now envisaged for 2013, to 91.2 million b/d, “an acceleration supported by the likelihood of stronger macroeconomic momentum as the year progresses, IEA said.

Led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, crude oil supply from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries rebounded by 310,000 b/d to 29.82 million b/d in December, reversing 4 months of declines. Iraq was the only member to post a decline. Non-OPEC supplies for the month fell by 335,000 b/d to 55.99 million b/d, mainly because of a seasonal decline in biofuels output.

As a whole, global supplies in 2013 increased by 605 million b/d to average 91.57 million b/d, with non-OPEC growth of 1.36 million b/d more than offsetting a decline of 860,000 b/d in OPEC crude.

IEA warned in the January report that US oil production could hit a wall as the ban on US exports of crude oil could have an adverse impact on continued investment and growth in US oil production.

“With 2013 US crude oil production exceeding even the boldest of expectations by a wide margin, that ‘wall’ now seems to be looming larger than ever, and the issue has become a matter of public debate,” IEA said.

Global refinery crude run estimates for last year’s fourth quarter are 76.3 million b/d, largely unchanged from last month’s OMR. Global refinery crude runs are forecast to reach 76.8 million b/d for this year’s first quarter, lifted up by 110,000 b/d since last month’s report, on a stronger US outlook. US refinery crude runs are expected to maintain annual growth of 500,000 b/d in early 2014, as a result of surging regional liquids supply.

Led by crude oil and the “other products” category, total OECD commercial oil inventories plunged by 53.6 million b/d in 2013 November—the steepest monthly decline since December 2011. The end-month OECD inventories were 99.5 million b/d below their 5-year average, the widest deficit since May 2003. Europe and Asia Oceania led the decline. Preliminary data indicate a further 42.5 million b/d draw in OECD inventories for December 2013, in line with seasonal trends.

Contact Conglin Xu at conglinx@ogjonline.com.

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