By Ese Awhotu
OPEC has predicted that demand for its crude will decline in 2015 to the lowest in six years as supplies from other producers, led by the U.S., are more than enough to cover the increase in global consumption.
The need for crude from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), to which Nigeria is a member, will slide to 29.4 million barrels a day next year even as growth in world oil consumption accelerates, the group said in its first assessment of 2015. That’s 300,000 a day less than OPEC’s 12 members pumped in June. It would be the third consecutive annual drop in demand for OPEC crude and the lowest since 2009. The U.S. will provide about two-thirds of next year’s supply growth, OPEC said, amid a shale-oil surge that has made the U.S. the world’s biggest producer.
“Even if next year’s world economic growth turns out to be better than expected and crude oil demand outperforms expectations, OPEC will have sufficient supply to provide to the market,” the group’s Vienna-based secretariat said in the report.
Oil prices have remained supported by threats to supplies in OPEC members such as Iraq and Libya, with the Brent benchmark’s loss this year limited to 2.3 percent.
Global oil demand will expand by 1.2 million barrels a day, or 1.3 percent, to 92.35 million a day in 2015, a faster pace of expansion than this year’s 1.1 million a day, OPEC said. World economic growth will quicken next year to 3.4 percent from 3.1 percent in 2014, it projected. OPEC kept its forecast for demand this year unchanged, predicting growth of 1.3 percent to 91.13 million.
Supply growth from outside OPEC will slow next year, according to the report. Non-OPEC producers will increase output by 1.31 million barrels a day, with 880,000 a day of this provided by the U.S., reaching 56.96 million a day. Non-OPEC supply expansion in 2014 is estimated at 1.47 million barrels a day.
Production from OPEC’s 12 members declined by 79,300 barrels a day last month to 29.7 million a day, the lowest level since April, as a result of losses in Iraq, Iran and Kuwait, according to secondary sources cited by the report.