Global oil demand is set to rise by 3.1 million b/d in 2022, returning to pre-pandemic levels by the fourth quarter, the International Energy Agency said June 11, warning that a "chasm" could open between supply and demand in the second half of this year if OPEC+ nations do not respond.
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In its monthly oil market report, providing its first projections for 2022, the IEA confirmed expectations of recovery in oil demand despite some impact from home working and electric vehicle adoption.
It also forecast oil output by countries outside the OPEC+ production pact would rise by 1.6 million b/d next year, hitting pre-pandemic levels mid-year, led by the US, with an increase of 970,000 b/d, but also supported by Brazil and Norway.
It called on OPEC+ countries to "open the taps" due to the expected gap between demand and supply in the second half of this year, following a period of stringent output control by the group in response to last year's price crash.
It estimated OPEC production in May at 25.43 million b/d, compared with an anticipated "call" for OPEC crude of 28.3 million b/d in the second half of the year, a slight downward reduction in its estimate of the call compared with last month's report.
Meanwhile, it estimated production by the whole of the OPEC+ group at 40.39 million b/d in May, and went on to note the group has ample spare capacity of almost 10 million b/d, only a small portion being from Iran, which is restricted by sanctions.
It noted oil stocks in the OECD economies, at 2.93 billion barrels, had fallen 1.6 million barrels below the 2015-19 pre-pandemic average in April.
"Our first detailed look at 2022 balances confirms earlier expectations that OPEC+ needs to open the taps to keep the world oil markets adequately supplied," the IEA said.
"Global oil demand will continue to recover and in the absence of further policy changes by end-2022 reach 100.6 million b/d. Non-OPEC+ production is also set to rise, but gains are nowhere near the levels needed to prevent further stockdraws," the report said.
In a hint at which oil producing nations have fared best in the crisis, it added: "Heavyweight producers such as Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Russia are spending money to expand or at least sustain capacity. For OPEC, production capacity is expected to rise 200,000 b/ to 34.3 million b/d in 2022 as additional capacity from low-cost reserves in the Middle East offsets further losses in Angola and Nigeria."
As for countries outside the OPEC+ group, the IEA said the expected recovery in output was relatively modest by comparison with expected demand increases.
Increases by the US shale industry were likely to be achieved mainly through cost reductions in the sector, as investors maintain pressure on operators to stick to spending discipline, the IEA said. It also highlighted maintenance activity taking a heavy toll on output in both Canada and the UK at the moment.
On the demand side, the IEA's modelling assumes widespread vaccination and control of the pandemic in most developed economies, but slower progress outside that group.
The recovery in 2022 is expected to be led by aviation, with a 1.5 million b/d increase in jet fuel and kerosene demand as the sector starts recovering in the second half of this year, while gasoline demand is expected to rise by 660,000 b/d next year.
It also noted a sizeable impact on gasoline demand as a result of new-found home-working habits that are likely to persist, saying 'teleworking' would have a 300,000-350,000 b/d impact on gasoline demand.
Changes to vehicles would also have some impact, with vehicle efficiency gains set to impact gasoline demand to the tune of 250,000-300,000 b/d, and electric vehicle sales in 2021-22 set to impact gasoline demand by 50,000-60,000 b/d, IEA senior oil analyst Christophe Barret told an online event outlining the report.
The reported noted, however: "In the short term, EVs remain largely a China and Europe phenomenon ... and even with a very strong growth, the impact of EV sales on world gasoline and diesel demand may be relatively limited" over the period to the end of 2022.