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OPEC says ample oil supply to persist in 2013

LONDON: OPEC trimmed its forecast for world oil demand growth in 2013 due to a slowing global economy and said it expected supply to remain ample, reinforcing its message that producers are doing enough to tackle high prices.

OPEC, in a monthly report, trimmed its forecast for growth in world oil demand in 2013 by 30,000 barrels per day to 780,000 bpd and said the risk remained skewed to the downside.

A jump in oil prices this year has worried the United States and other consuming countries and prompted calls on producers to pump more oil. Crude hit $128 a barrel earlier this year, its highest since 2008, and was trading at $114 Wednesday.

OPEC has maintained supply is adequate and said in its report Wednesday it was likely to stay so, pointing out this year’s demand forecast has often been cut, while saying supply from producers outside the 12-member group has performed well.

“This trend is not expected to change in the coming year, with the market continuing to be characterized by high volumes of crude supply and increasing production capacity,” said the report from OPEC’s Vienna headquarters.

Top OPEC producer Saudi Arabia made similar remarks Tuesday, saying stability had been restored to the oil market and it was satisfied oil prices had fallen to a level that does not hamper global growth.

OPEC’s report is the first of this month’s trio of major oil outlooks to emerge. The U.S. government’s Energy Information Administration issues its report Wednesday, followed by the International Energy Agency Friday.

Extra oil from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Arab OPEC members this year has offset lower supply from fellow OPEC country Iran, whose exports have been curbed by Western sanctions.

But OPEC’s report said production fell by 265,000 bpd in September to 31.08 million bpd, according to sources cited by the report.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on October 11, 2012, on page 5.
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