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Oil inventories in developed nations have declined by 160 million barrels since this time last year and will continue to drop in the near term, OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo said in a bullish outlook on the oil market at an online petroleum industry summit on Monday.
In April alone, oil stocks in OECD countries went down by 6.9 million barrels, Barkindo said at the Nigeria International Petroleum Summit, as carried by Reuters.
“We expect to see further drawdowns in the months ahead,” OPEC’s head said.
Barkindo also noted that the oil market has reacted positively to the OPEC+ oil supply management policies this year, including the decision to ease the cuts by a total of 2 million barrels per day (bpd) between May and July.
Last week, OPEC+ kept the plan to ease the cuts by 840,000 bpd in July, suggesting that despite the still high COVID uncertainty, especially in parts of Asia such as India, OPEC and the OPEC+ group expect the market to accommodate further increases in production, as well as a return of Iranian barrels.
At the meeting last week, Barkindo said that the outlooks on the global economy and the oil market for later this year look “especially promising.”
“In fact, we anticipate that demand will surpass 99 mb/d in the fourth quarter, which would put us back in the range of pre-pandemic levels,” OPEC’s chief said.
In a separate panel on the Nigerian forum, Barkindo said that OPEC encourages its members to continue to meet oil demand.
“We encourage all our member countries to continue to invest in renewables but also to continue to meet the demand for hydrocarbons,” he said.
At the first OPEC energy dialogue with Africa last week, Barkindo said that “the lack of adequate industry investment could hinder reliable energy supplies in the future, and that OPEC will continue to advocate for a balanced & inclusive energy transition that promotes all energy sources & prioritizes the investment needs of Africa.”
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com