OPEC’s Oil Production Slightly Increased in March 2012

According to the recent April report of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries in regards to the oil market, the OPEC oil production slightly rose during March 2012 compared with February oil production levels. This rise was mainly due to the ongoing growth in Libya’s oil production.  

OPEC’s crude oil production reached 31,312 thousand bbl/d in March compared with 31,176 thousand bbl/d in February. Libya’s oil production rose again by 112 thousand bbl/d to 1,372 thousand bbl/d after it has reached a near halt during most of 2011. The current production levels are still nearly one third below Libya’s average oil production of 1.6 million bbl/d in 2010.  Iraq’s oil production also increased by 124.6 thousand bbl/d.

The rest of OPEC countries nearly didn’t change their oil quotas during March. There was a 98.3.8 thousand bbl/d decrease in the production for Angola and a 71.2 thousand bbl/d decrease for Iran.

The revised oil supply of non-OPEC countries is estimated at 52.97 million bbl/d in 2012, an increase of 0.58 million bbl/d compared with 2011’s oil supply.

Assuming OPEC’s supply in 2012 will remain at the same level during the first quarter of 2012 at 31.11 million bbl/d and adding to that OPEC’s NGL’s and non-conventional oil at an estimate of 5.62 the total global supply will reach in 2012 an estimate of 89.7 million bbl/d. 

The total world oil demand forecast for 2012 is estimated to reach 88.64 million bbl/d – a growth of 0.86 million bbl/d or nearly 1% compared with 2011’s demand.

The estimated total difference between supply and demand on a global will reach in 2012 a difference of 1.06 million bbl/d (i.e. a excess of 1,060 thousand barrels).

The IEA – International Energy Agency also published its monthly report on the global crude oil market as of March 2012.

According to the recent monthly update, during March, OPEC’s oil production rose to 31.43 million bbl/d.

The non-OPEC countries’ oil production slipped by 0.5 mb/d during March 2012. According to the report, the decrease was widespread but was mostly in UK and at synthetic oil plants in Canada.

The global oil demand projection is expected to rise by 0.8 mbbl/d to 89.9 mbbl/d in 2012 compared with 2011’s demand.

In the report, the OECD industry oil inventories decreased by 12.4 million bbl to 2,630 million bbl in February 2012. The oil stockpiles are below the 5-year average for the eight consecutive month, but narrowed to 13.9 mb in February from 40.4 mb in January; this means that the oil market was still tight during February in OECD countries, mainly in Europe; this was probably among the reasons for the rising difference between Brent oil and WTI in recent months.

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