Oil surplus to return next year, IEA predicts

The oil market is now in balance thanks to unplanned outages and robust demand, particularly from emerging economies, but this equilibrium will tilt into surplus again early next year, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said yesterday.

In its monthly report, the agency said demand growth in 2017 is likely to reach 1.3m barrels per day (bpd), the same level it estimates for this year, having revised up its May 2016 forecast of 1.2m bpd.

“Again, on the planning assumption that Opec oil production grows modestly in 2017, we expect to see global oil stocks build slightly in the first half of 2017 before falling slightly more in the second half of 2017,” the Paris-based IEA said.

“For the year as a whole, there will be a very small stock draw of 0.1 million bpd.

“At halfway in 2016, the oil market looks to be balancing; but we must not forget that there are large volumes of shut-in production, mainly in Nigeria and Libya, that could return to the market, and the strong start for oil demand growth seen this year might not be maintained.

Most of the anticipated demand growth this year and in 2017 is expected to come from nations that are not part of the OECD, the agency said.

“We must stress that this is our first look at 2017 and the huge number of moving parts will see us amend our numbers accordingly. However ... the direction of travel seems to be clear,” the IEA said.

The IEA’s latest demand estimate for the first three months of this year shows global oil deliveries rising by 1.6 m bpd to 95.2m bpd, with nine out of every 10 extra barrels going to a non-OECD economy.

On the supply side, the IEA said output fell by 590,000 bpd year-on-year to 95.4m bpd in May, the first major decline since the start of 2013.


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