The current oil market deficit will turn into a slight surplus next year even if OPEC+ leaders Saudi Arabia and Russia extend their production and export cuts into 2024, Toril Bosoni, the Head of Oil Industry and Markets Division at the International Energy Agency (IEA), told Reuters on Tuesday.
Global oil stocks are currently falling “at a fast rate”, Bosoni told Reuters on the sidelines of an industry event in Norway.
Just last week, the IEA raised its global oil demand forecasts for 2023 and 2024, as consumption is exceeding expectations. But the agency warned that supply growth was also topping forecasts.
“For now, with demand still exceeding available supplies heading into the Northern Hemisphere winter, market balances will remain vulnerable to heightened economic and geopolitical risks – and further volatility ahead,” the IEA said.
Speculation is growing that OPEC’s top producer, Saudi Arabia, will extend its voluntary cut of 1 million barrels per day (bpd) into 2024, considering the latest slide in oil prices to $80 and the typically weak period for oil demand in the first quarter of every year. Market talk is also intensifying that OPEC+ could announce a deeper cut at the group’s meeting in the weekend November 25-26.
The recent weakness in oil prices “has increased noise over what OPEC+ will decide to do at its meeting on 26 November. We continue to expect that Saudi Arabia and Russia will roll over their additional voluntary cuts into early 2024,” ING strategists Warren Patterson and Ewa Manthey wrote on Monday.
“However, what is less clear is whether the broader OPEC+ group will make further cuts,” they added.
A deeper group cut combined with the Saudis and Russians rolling over their voluntary reduction would wipe out the currently expected market surplus in the first quarter of 2024, the strategists noted.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com