The Energy Information Administration expects OPEC’s combined crude oil production this year to be 1 million barrels per day lower than in 2018, when the cartel produced an average 31.92 million bpd, the authority said in its latest Short-Term Energy Outlook.
This, however, won’t be enough to push prices higher if the EIA turns out correct about the trend in non-OPEC production, led by the United States, which the EIA sees rising by 2.4 million bpd this year from last. In 2020, OPEC’s production is likely to remain flat on 2019, with all the growth in global supply coming from the United States, Brazil, Canada, and Russia, the EIA also said. This is the authority’s first STEO that covers 24 months.
Among OPEC members, the EIA sees Iraq as one major driver of production growth but it also assumes U.S. sanctions against Iran will remain in place until the end of 2020, which, coupled with expectations that Venezuela’s oil production will continue to fall, means production growth in Iraq will not be enough to offset the negative supply effect of developments in Iran and Venezuela.
Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s de facto leader and also biggest producer, interestingly, would not be able—or willing—to contribute to growth in production, according to the EIA. The agency said this year Saudi Arabia will produce an average of less than the 10.4 million bpd average rate of production it booked for 2018.
Angola and Nigeria, on the other hand, will pump more oil this year, the EIA also said in its projections for OPEC. Angola started up production at two new fields last year: Kaombo, which it will this year expand it with a second phase of development, and Vandumbu, which began production ahead of schedule in late 2018.
In Nigeria, the offshore Egina field, operated by Total, began production at the start of this year. At peak production, Egina will have the capacity to pump 200,000 bpd, which is equal to about 10 percent of Nigeria’s current rate of production.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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