OPEC’s Oil Production Inched Down in December

According to the recent January report published by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries regarding the recent developments in the crude oil market for December, the OPEC oil production inched down again during December compared with November’s oil production.

OPEC’s crude oil production decreased to 30,365 thousand bbl/d in December compared with 30,829 thousand bbl/d in November. This means the total OPEC oil supply slightly declined by 464.6 thousand during last month. Saudi Arabia’s oil production declined by 420 thousand bbl/d to 9,211 thousand bbl/d. Iraq’s oil production also slightly declined by 196.3 thousand bbl/d to reach 3,011 thousand bbl/d. The current production of Libya is still nearly 5% below Libya’s average oil production of 1,600 thousand bbl/d in 2010. Nigeria’s oil production slightly increased to 2,019 thousand bbl/d.  Iran’s oil production remained stable at 2,656 thousand, which is still its lowest production level in recent years.

The rest of OPEC countries also nearly didn’t change their oil quotas during December 2012.

The oil supply of non-OPEC countries was revised slightly down to an estimate of 52.98 million bbl/d in 2012, a rise of 0.53 million bbl/d compared with 2011’s oil supply. The estimated growth in non-OPEC oil supply in 2013 is 0.96 million bbl/d  to reach 53.92 million bbl/d.

Assuming that OPEC’s supply will remain unchanged in 2013 at the same level as during the 2012 at 31.166 million bbl/d and adding to that OPEC’s NGL’s and non-conventional oil at an estimate of 5.75 the total global supply will reach in 2013 an estimate of 90.836 million bbl/d. 

The total world oil demand forecast for 2013 is estimated to reach 89.55 million bbl/d – a growth of 0.75 million bbl/d or less than 1% compared with 2012’s demand.

The estimated gap between supply and demand on a global will reach during 2013 a total of 1.286 million bbl/d (i.e. a surplus of 1,286 thousand barrels). Therefore, if the difference between the supply and the demand with further expand it could suggest that the oil market with further loosen in the months to come, which could pressure down the prices of oil.

Nonetheless keep in mind, if OPEC were to cut its oil production (mainly Iran) to the 30 million bbl/d agreed upon quota, this would likely tighten the oil market and pressure up oil prices.

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