London — Three of the most closely watched oil market forecasters have divergent outlooks for next year, especially in terms of demand and the pace of market rebalancing, as seen in their recent monthly reports published earlier this week.
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The International Energy Agency appeared less cheerful about the prospects for the market balancing in 2018, with a stern warning about growth in supply and demand.
"We see that 2018 might not be quite so happy for OPEC producers ... 2018 may not necessarily be a happy new year for those who would like to see a tighter market. Total supply growth could exceed demand growth," the IEA said Thursday.
OPEC's statistical arm was not as worried about the supply-and-demand balance, but anticipates much stronger demand for its own crude next year, despite a steady rise in US production.
The US Energy Information Administration, in its Short-Term Energy Outlook, was the most optimistic in terms of demand, seeing demand growth of 1.62 million b/d.
The IEA continued to maintain a less enthusiastic tone on demand growth for next year at 1.29 million b/d while OPEC's forecast was at 1.51 million b/d.
All three expect a steady rise in non-OPEC oil production. led by the US next year.
The EIA and IEA expect non-OPEC supply to grow by 1.68 million b/d and 1.60 million b/d, respectively, in 2018.
OPEC forecast 990,000 b/d of extra non-OPEC supply to hit the market next year. EIA also forecast that global oil consumption will outpace supply by 370,000 b/d this year, but in 2018, supply will outpace demand by 50,000 b/d.
Below are key forecasts for the global oil market from the IEA, EIA and OPEC. The figures are taken from the IEA's Oil Market Report, the EIA's Short-Term Energy Outlook and OPEC's Monthly Oil Market Report, all released earlier this month.
IEA/EIA/OPEC forecast comparisons: December 2017 (million b/d)
-- Eklavya Gupte, email@example.com