Energy

Is OPEC Losing Its Influence?

Farid Hajili Review 6 November 2019
Is OPEC Losing Its Influence?

The pace of global oil demand growth will be gradually slowing through 2040, OPEC said in its annual report on Tuesday, revising down its medium and long-term demand growth outlook compared to last year’s estimates. 

In its annual World Oil Outlook 2019 report published today, the group also lowered projections about its own liquids supply to 2024, admitting that soaring U.S. shale production and supply from other producers including Brazil, Norway, and Kazakhstan will eat into its market share over the next five years. 

“Signs of stress have appeared in the global economy, and the outlook for global growth, at least in the short- and medium-term, has been revised down repeatedly over the past year,” OPEC said.

Last month, OPEC revised down its global oil demand growth estimate for this year, for a fourth time in five months, expecting demand to grow by just below 1 million bpd amid slowing economic growth momentum in the ongoing trade spats.

Therefore, the cartel is lowering its outlook for global demand to 104.8 million bpd by 2024, and 110.6 million bpd by 2040. Over the next five years, the average demand growth is seen at around 1 million bpd, dropping from an expected 1.1 million bpd this year to 900,000 bpd in 2024. In the long term, to 2040, OPEC sees oil demand growth slowing from 1.4 million bpd in 2018 to some 500,000 bpd towards the end of the next decade. 

OPEC’s liquids supply is forecast at 32.8 million bpd in 2024, down from 36.6 million bpd in 2018 and an estimated 35 million bpd for 2019.

“At the same time, non-OPEC supply prospects have been revised up, as US tight oil, in particular, has again outperformed expectations. Prospects for growth are undimmed, given that efficiency and technology gains, as well as investments, have further increased,” OPEC said.

The organization sees U.S. production peaking “sometime around 2025.” Supply from the U.S. and Canada is expected to rise by nearly 5 million bpd between 2018 and 2025. The increase will be mostly offset by a nearly 3 million bpd decline in supply from the Middle East, as demand for OPEC crude declines, the cartel said.

In the longer term, however, OPEC expects to regain some market share as it sees only two non-OPEC countries - Brazil and Kazakhstan - showing meaningful output growth beyond the mid-2020s.

“Virtually all other non-OPEC producers are anticipated to see a decline in long-term liquids production,” OPEC said.

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