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IEA expects rise in non-OPEC oil output

IEA expects rise in non-OPEC oil output

It estimates that Opec crude output fell by 365,000 bpd last month to 31.68 million bpd, with Saudi Arabia cutting by more than it has pledged, while Nigeria and Libya, which are exempt from cutting, have had further disruptions to their production.

Supply and demand in the oil market are close to matching up, the IEA said today, as landmark OPEC-led production cuts are mitigated by rising U.S. supply and slipping worldwide demand growth.

The IEA projected the oil market would likely tighten throughout the year as non-OPEC oil production, not just in the US, is forecast to increase once again.

OPEC data showed members of the group had cut March output beyond the level they had promised. This would provide further support to prices, which in turn would offer further encouragement to the United States shale oil sector and other producers.

Oil had rallied above $US53 a barrel after some members of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries voiced support for prolonging production cuts with other nations beyond June.

As with Wednesday's report from Opec in Vienna, the IEA sees the USA as the main contributor to net growth this year of almost 500,000 bpd after a dip last year of almost 800,000 bpd, with the U.S. expected to raise production by 680,000 bpd.

In its closely watched monthly oil market report, the IEA reduced its forecast for 2017 demand growth to 1.3 million barrels a day, warning that this outlook could still "prove optimistic".

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Oil inventories fell in March but probably showed a rise in the first quarter of this year overall because oil consumers stockpiled crude before the OPEC-led cuts took effect properly, the IEA said.

Still, the IEA said, global oil supply and demand appear to be rebalancing after more than two years of oversupply.

Even at this mid-way point, we can consider what comes next.

"The net result is that global stocks might have marginally increased in 1Q17", it said.

Global benchmark Brent futures added 13 cents or 0.25% to trade at $55.99 a barrel on the ICE Futures Exchange in London.

Oil prices are still around 25 per cent higher than they were a year ago, and roughly stable over the past three months, despite frequent day-to-day volatility.

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