Member of OPEC and Non-OPEC - Photo by OPEC

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – Oil prices fell unstoppable on Tuesday (11/13) pressured by fears of weakening global demand and abundant supply. United States (US) oil prices in the futures market experienced the steepest daily decline in more than three years.

Yesterday, US oil prices in the futures market fell 7.1 percent and  more than 980,000 contracts changed hands. Oil traders rated the massive sell-off was an extension of a similar action the day before triggered by the chirping of US’ President Donald Trump who pressed the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)  not to cut supplies.

Last weekend that Saudi Arabia was considering production cuts at the OPEC meeting in December, a signal that supply had exceeded consumption. The hedge funds and other money managers have reduced their long positions in oil contracts to the lowest level since August 2017.

In the last meeting on Nov. 12, 2018, OPEC and Non-OPEC Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee (JMMC) considers to cut the productions in 2019. At the meeting, the committee’s communique sets up a potential agreement to throttle back production when the entire group meets in Vienna, Austria on Dec.5.

OPEC and a group of oil producers including Russia began cutting their output in January 2017 in order to drain a global crude glut that sent oil prices from over $100 a barrel to under $30. In June, the group agreed to restore some of that output after its members cut more deeply than they intended and as oil prices hit 3 and half-year highs.

The JMMC acknowledged the achievements of participating producing countries of the Declaration of Cooperation (DoC) and their continuous efforts in pursuing a balanced and sustainably stable global oil market, serving the interests of consumers, producers, the industry and global economy at large. Additionally, the JMMC noted that countries participating in the DoC have achieved a conformity level of 104 percent in October 2018.

The Committee reviewed current oil supply and demand fundamentals and noted that 2019 prospects point to higher supply growth than global requirements, taking into account current uncertainties.

The group producers also noted that the dampening of global economic growth prospects, in addition to associated uncertainties, could have repercussions for global oil demand in 2019 – and could lead to widening the gap between supply and demand.

In September, OPEC predicts the demand for world oil until 2023 will decline even though energy demand is getting higher amid the global economic expansion.

The fall in demand for OPEC crude is caused by strong oil supplies from non-OPEC countries, especially oil supplies from the US. The organization added, the US is still the largest source of supply in the medium to long term. The US contributes to two-thirds of additional supplies driven by soaring oil production levels.

As is well known, the US has pushed its oil production to a record level of 11 million barrels oil per day (MPBOD) in recent years as new technology revolutionizes shale oil production and opens up reserves that were previously considered uneconomical.

In addition, the US also imposed sanctions on OPEC members, Venezuela and Iran, which pushed Brent oil prices closer to the highest level since 2014 at around $80 per barrel, and spurred US producers to increase production.

OPEC has revised the prospect of growth in crude oil and non-OPEC production in 2023 to 4 mb higher than last year’s report. It said non-OPEC would produce 66.1 mb/d of crude oil and liquid fuel by 2023, up from 57.5 million bpd in 2017.

Meanwhile, the US is projected to increase oil production to 13.4 million bpd by 2023, from 7.4 MPBOD in 2017 so that total US output reaches 20 MPBOD, OPEC added. This will make the US, after becoming the largest crude oil importer, will also be able to meet its own oil needs.

As a result of these changes, OPEC crude demand is predicted to decline to 31.6 mb/d by 2023, from 32.6 mb/d in 2017. In its 2017 report, OPEC expects crude oil demand to be around 33 mb/d in the mid-2020s.

Nevertheless, OPEC still believes global oil demand will begin to recover and continue to rise to reach 40 mb/d in the next 2040. Moreover, OPEC sees global oil consumption until 2020 will reach 101.9 mb/d, up 1.2 mb/d from estimates in last year’s report.

Meanwhile, global oil demand in the longer term is expected to increase by 14.5 MPBOD to reach 111.7 MPBOD in 2040, slightly higher than last year’s forecast. In the long run, OPEC still hopes to maintain a balance between global market share and oil supply, especially in conditions of abundant and cheap reserves to be extracted.

Some specific highlights from this year’s World Oil Outlook like oil is expected to remain the fuel with the largest share in the energy mix throughout the forecast period to 2040. Total primary energy is set to expand by a robust 33 percent between 2015 and 2040, driven predominantly by developing countries, which see almost 95 percent of the overall energy demand growth.

Meanwhile, demand growth is driven by non-OECD regions, which see a huge increase of around 23 mb/d to 2040. Its added, there is no expectation for peak oil demand over the forecast period to 2040.

Furthermore, OPEC said, long-term demand growth comes mainly from the petrochemicals (4.5 MPBOD), road transportation (4.1 MPBOD) and aviation (2.7 MPBOD) sectors. The total vehicle fleet – including passenger and commercial vehicles – is projected to increase to around 2.4 billion in 2040.

It said, the majority of the growth continues to be for conventional vehicles, but the long-term share of electric vehicles in the total fleet is projected to expand and reach a level of around 13 percent in 2040, supported by falling battery costs and policy support.

Non-OPEC liquids supply is forecast to increase by more than 9 MPBOD between 2017 and 2027, with the major driver being US tight oil, but beyond this period non-OPEC supply is set to decline by around 4 MPBOD.

The demand for OPEC crude is projected to increase to around 40 mb/d in 2040, up from 32 MBOPD in 2018. While, the share of OPEC crude in the global oil supply is estimated to increase from 34 percent in 2017 to 36 percent in 2040.

OPEC said, global refinery additions are projected mainly in developing regions, led by the Asia-Pacific and the Middle East, but also Africa and Latin America. Fast evolving trade patterns for crude oil and refined products will continue to evolve, driven initially by additional flows from the US & Canada, and in the long-term by the Middle East, mostly attributed to increasing imports to the Asia-Pacific.

Talking about investment, OPEC sees, in the period to 2040, the required global oil sector investment is estimated at $11 trillion.

Yesterday, US crude futures fell 7.1 percent to $55.69 per barrel. This is the biggest one-day percentage reduction for contracts since September 2015. While, S crude has fallen 28 percent since its peak in early October.

Then, Brent down to $65.47 a barrel. This is also the biggest daily loss since July. Brent has fallen 25 percent since peaking to a four-year high in early October. The prices have not been seen since March.