Monday 5 December 2016

Oil producers see demand continue to slide until 2020

Grant Smith

Published 24/12/2015 | 02:30

OPEC assumes that prices will rise to average $80 a barrel in nominal terms in 2020, and $70.70 in real terms. Photo: Reuters
OPEC assumes that prices will rise to average $80 a barrel in nominal terms in 2020, and $70.70 in real terms. Photo: Reuters

OPEC said demand for its crude will slide to 2020, though less steeply than previously expected, as rival supplies continue to grow.

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The organisation will need to pump 30.7m barrels a day by the end of the decade, OPEC said yesterday in its annual World Oil Outlook.

That's 1.7m barrels more than projected a year ago, and 1m less than the group pumped in November.

The forecast underlines the struggle faced by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries as it seeks to defend market share against a surge in output from rivals such as the US and Russia. While OPEC is slowly taming the expansion of competitors, the collapse in oil prices means the financial costs of its strategy are immense. Brent crude futures touched an 11-year low of $36.04 a barrel on December 21.

"Although lower oil prices continue to foster some demand growth, their impact seems to be limited by other factors," the group said.

"The removal of subsidies and price controls on petroleum products in some countries and ongoing efficiency improvements will all likely continue restricting oil demand growth."

The 30.7m barrels of daily output needed from 12 of OPEC's members in 2020 is about 300,000 a day less than required this year, when it repeatedly pumped above its production target before scrapping the limit altogether earlier this month. The supply total excludes Indonesia, which formally rejoined OPEC on December 4.

OPEC assumes that prices will rise to average $80 a barrel in nominal terms in 2020, and $70.70 in real terms. Last year it had anticipated nominal prices of $110 and real levels of $95.40.

(Bloomberg)

Irish Independent

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