Oil prices likely to fall further: IEA

Oil prices likely to fall further: IEA

The International Energy Agency (IEA) is maintaining its forecast of a weak increase in global oil demand this year, pointing out that the demand might increase slightly in 2015.

In its monthly report released Friday, the IEA noted that the continuous drop in oil prices since June 2014 might continue through the first half of 2015.

Unless a problem occurs in producing countries, such as oil extraction operations in Libya being disrupted by civil conflict, supply is not expected to dwindle despite the price decline that saw Brent crude off by 30 percent from the peak it reached in June 2014, the IEA clarified.

Oil consumption is expected to reach 92.4 million barrels per day (bpd) this year, the organisation that brings together the developed world's major energy consumers observed.

This figure represents an increase of 680,000 daily barrels compared to 2013, the lowest rate in five years.

The agency also expected demand to reach 93.6 million barrels per day in 2015, with an increase of 1.2 million barrels over this year. However, quarterly details reveal that the rate increase between January and March 2015 will be one million barrels, compared to the same period in 2014.

The other factor that explains the price drop for Brent barrels to less than $80 for the first time in four years is that supply rates rose by 35,000 barrels per day in October, reaching 94.2 million bpd.

Compared to a year earlier, production volume rose by 2.7 million barrels per day, with contributions from both Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), members and other producers, who extracted 1.8 million additional daily barrels.

Although OPEC reduced its production in October 2014 by 150,000 bpd compared to September 2014, the organisation's 30.60 million bpd production is still higher than the 30 million bpd official target.

The IEA expected that demand for OPEC production next year will reach 29.2 million bpd; however, it will suffer a seasonal drop of 1.3 million bpd during the last three months of this year and the first three months of 2015.

For the remaining countries, the exceptional daily rise of 1.8 million additional barrels will not be repeated in 2015, but the 1.3 million additional barrels will remain a high growth rate compared to historical rates.

This development is largely caused by the arrival of oil from unconventional oilfields, which are making significant gains regarding cost efficiency. The move is being accelerated by the downward pressure of prices.

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