oil production

OPEC Forecasts Faster Oil Demand Growth in 2014

Once again, developing countries -- especially their transportation and industrial sectors -- will lead the push while demand in the OECD club of advanced economies will contract, OPEC said.

VIENNA - World oil demand will pick up at a faster rate in 2014, the oil-exporting cartel OPEC said on Wednesday but also warned of the potential impact of economic troubles in Europe, the U.S. and China.

In 2014, oil demand will average 90.68 million barrels per day (mbd), up from a revised 2013 estimate of 89.64 mbd "partially on the back of an improvement in global economic growth," OPEC said in its monthly report.

This would represent the biggest increase in demand since 2010, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries added.

Once again, developing countries -- especially their transportation and industrial sectors -- will lead the push while demand in the OECD club of advanced economies will contract, OPEC said.

Risks to Recovery Remain

A slower-than-expected recovery in the crisis-hit eurozone, the United States and China, could however dampen oil demand growth, it said.

Other risks included the introduction of further energy-efficiency policies in some transportation sectors, oil-subsidy cuts in Indonesia and the projected restart of Japan's nuclear power plants.

On Monday, Japanese power companies asked for permission to restart 10 nuclear reactors, a move that could presage a widespread return to atomic energy more than two years after the Fukushima disaster.

For 2013, OPEC -- which pumps about 35% of the world's oil supply -- barely revised its demand forecast from 89.65 mbd in June.

The 12-member cartel noted stronger-than-expected demand in North America in the first quarter as well as positive developments in Germany's industrial sector, although growth forecasts for China and the Middle East were lowered.

As the year advances, demand will pick up in every region, the cartel said.

In June, OPEC crude production dropped to an average 30.38 mbd from 30.69 mbd the previous month, following a fall in output from Libya, Nigeria, Angola and Iraq.

Last month, Libyan Oil Minister Abdelbari al-Arussi had said that protests at oilfields around the country had seriously affected production, costing 250,000 barrels per day (bpd) in lost production.

Outside OPEC, the world oil supply was expected to keep increasing this year and the next, helped by growth in countries like the Unites States, Canada, Brazil, Kazakhstan and both Sudan and South Sudan.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2013

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