This week in energy was dominated by the predictions from two top energy sources – OPEC and the International Energy Agency.
On the one side you had OPEC, which is meeting on November 30th to decide the fate of production guidelines going forward. It might be no surprise, in advance of that meeting that they would upgrade their view of the global demand picture and they did – seeing at least their share of demand increasing by more than 400,000 barrels a day. This prediction would bode very well for the Saudi/OPEC strategy of continued restrictions on production going forward.
On the opposite side was the IEA, whose World Energy Outlook reduced their forecast for oil demand to a ‘mere’ 1.5m barrels a day increase in 2018 – a number that’s already historically huge, but a reduction from a forecast they had in fact increased – two times already – in 2017. More impactful, perhaps, was their longer-term forecast of global energy use. Despite their robust call for a 30 percent increase in total energy demand to 2040, they somehow managed to discount the role that crude oil was likely to play in fulfilling that demand.
Whether I buy the IEA’s prognostication skills 20+ years into the future given their helpless track record or not – (I don’t) – the WEO was blamed for a sell-off in oil futures in the last week.
Let’s discount these reports for the moment. This sell-off was more likely…