OIL MARKET BALANCE 2017
Crude oil prices rallied to a 2016 high above $51/bbl in June, stoked by continuing outages in Nigeria and Canada as well as a steady decline in US oil production. May marked the third straight month of average price rises in Brent and WTI futures.
Outages in OPEC and non-OPEC countries cut global oil supply by nearly 0.8 mb/d in May. At 95.4 mb/d, output stood 590 kb/d below a year earlier - the first significant drop since early 2013. Non-OPEC supply growth is expected to return in 2017 at a modest 0.2 mb/d, after declining by 0.9 mb/d in 2016.
OPEC crude output fell by 110 kb/d in May to 32.61 mb/d as big losses in Nigeria due to oil sector sabotage more than offset higher Middle East output. Iran has clearly emerged as OPEC's fastest source of supply growth this year, with an anticipated gain of 700 kb/d.
Global oil demand in 1Q16 has been revised upwards to 1.6 mb/d and for 2016 growth will now be 1.3 mb/d. In 2017 we will see the same rate of growth and global demand will reach 97.4 mb/d. Non-OECD nations will provide most of the expected gains in both years. The growth rate is slightly above the previous trend, mostly due to relatively low crude oil prices.
Commercial inventories in the OECD increased from March levels by 14.4 mb to stand at 3 065 mb by end-April, an impressive 222 mb above one year earlier. As the US driving season kicks off, OECD gasoline stocks stand above average levels and last year in absolute and days of forward demand terms. There is a similar picture in China.
Refinery runs in 2Q16 are suffering from deepening outages. Throughput is nearly flat year-on-year, as refiners finally catch up with maintenance postponed from 2015. The seasonal ramp-up to 3Q16 is expected to be the largest on record, surging by about 2.3 mb/d quarter-on-quarter.
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U.S. EIA - Venezuela holds the largest oil reserves in the world, in large part because of the heavy oil reserves in the Orinoco Oil Basin. In addition to oil reserves, Venezuela has sizeable natural gas reserves, although the development of natural gas lags significantly behind that of oil. However, in the wake of political and economic instability in the country, crude oil production has dramatically decreased, reaching a multi-decades low in mid-2018.
U.S. BEA - The U.S. current-account deficit increased to $124.1 billion (preliminary) in the first quarter of 2018 from $116.1 billion (revised) in the fourth quarter of 2017, according to statistics released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). The deficit was 2.5 percent of current-dollar gross domestic product (GDP) in the first quarter, up from 2.4 percent in the fourth quarter.
WNN - There are 126 operational power reactors in 14 EU Member States, providing more than one-quarter of the bloc's total electricity production. In its Communication on the Nuclear Illustrative Program (PINC) published last year, the European Commission expects nuclear to maintain its significant role in Europe's energy mix up to 2050. This would require investment of some EUR40-50 billion (USD46-58 billion) in nuclear LTO by 2050.
REUTERS - Benchmark Brent crude LCOc1 was up 50 cents at $75.58 a barrel by 0835 GMT. U.S. light crude CLc1 was 50 cents higher at $65.57.