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STEO highlights: Global oil demand growth to fall below 1 million b/d in 2019: US EIA


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Washington — The US Energy Information Administration Tuesday cut its outlook for 2019 global oil demand growth 100,000 b/d to 890,000 b/d, which would put it below 1 million b/d for the first time since 2011.

EIA has cut its 2019 global oil demand growth outlook for seven months in a row, after starting the year at 1.5 million b/d.

Weaker demand and recent market movements pushed EIA to lower its oil price forecast in its latest Short-Term Energy Outlook.

EIA now sees Brent crude averaging $63.39/b in 2019 and $62/b in 2020, down $1.76 and $3, respectively, from last month's outlook.

WTI crude is expected to average $56.31/b in 2019 and $56.50/b in 2020, down $1.56 and $3, respectively, from the EIA's August report.


EIA trimmed its outlook for US oil production 30,000 b/d to 12.24 million b/d for 2019 and 13.23 million b/d for 2020. US output averaged 10.99 million b/d in 2018.

US oil production is on track to hit 13 million b/d by February, EIA said.

The US will become a net oil exporter for the first time on a monthly basis in October, a month earlier than EIA previously forecast. Crude and refined product exports will exceed imports by 20,000 b/d in October, with net exports expanding to 250,000 b/d in November, the report said.

EIA sees the US continuing to be a net oil importer on an annual basis in 2019, with imports exceeding exports by an average of 57,000 b/d. Then the US will flip to annual net exporter in 2020, with exports exceeding imports by 58,000 b/d.

The growth of the Gulf Coast refining sector made the US a net exporter of refined products in 2011. Rising crude exports since 2015 have made the overall net oil exporter status possible.

Still, US crude imports will continue to exceed crude exports by 4.2 million b/d in 2019 and 4.29 million b/d in 2020, EIA said.


OPEC oil output averaged 29.7 million b/d in August, up 220,000 b/d from July as production increases in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Nigeria and Iraq offset declines in Venezuela and Libya.

EIA expects OPEC oil output to average 30.03 million b/d in 2019 and 29.6 million b/d in 2020, down 100,000 b/d and 190,000 b/d, respectively, from last month's forecast.

The latest S&P Global Platts survey, released Friday, has OPEC's crude output at 29.93 million b/d in August, up 50,000 b/d from July.

A production cut agreement between OPEC and other producers, along with US sanctions on crude oil exports out of Iran and Venezuela, have caused a tightening in global crude supplies, particularly heavy and sour crudes.

OPEC oil output has declined 2.56 million b/d since January 2018, according to EIA.

EIA said Venezuelan output fell to 750,000 b/d in August from 800,000 b/d in July, while Libyan oil output fell to 1.08 million b/d in August from 1.13 million b/d in July.

Saudi oil output averaged 9.85 million b/d in August, up from 9.75 million b/d in July, but still well below the 11 million b/d mark reached in November.

Month-on-month oil output in Nigeria rose to 1.67 million b/d in August from 1.6 million b/d in July; in UAE, to 3.15 million b/d from 3.1 million b/d; in Iraq, to 4.75 million b/d from 4.7 million b/d; and in Angola, to 1.43 million b/d from 1.39 million b/d, EIA said.

Iranian crude oil output averaged 2.1 million b/d in August, unchanged from July, according to EIA.

-- Meghan Gordon,

-- Brian Scheid,

-- Edited by Valarie Jackson,