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With Petrol at Rs 90 a Litre, OPEC's Negative Demand Outlook is Not Helping

India imports close to 80 percent of its oil needs, most of which is via OPEC.

Rounak Kumar Gunjan | News18.com@Rounak_T

Updated:September 24, 2018, 12:54 PM IST
With Petrol at Rs 90 a Litre, OPEC's Negative Demand Outlook is Not Helping
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New Delhi: Retail prices of fuel in India crossed a life-time high of Rs 90 a litre in Maharashtra on Monday. Coupled with this, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC) latest demand outlook is going to further raise problems for the country.

India imports close to 80 percent of its oil needs, most of which is via OPEC. An intergovernmental organization of 15 nations, the producer’s group is witnessing flat demand due to the US ramping up its tight oil production and countries opting for the latter.

A steady rise in the US oil output will gather pace in the next five years, OPEC said, predicting that demand for the organization’s crude will decline despite a growing appetite for energy fed by global economic expansion.

This is problematic for India because as long as demand does not rise, prices for crude oil will not stabilise, which will further put pressure on the Indian fuel.

“Declining demand for OPEC crude is a result of strong non-OPEC supply in the 2017–2023 period, most notably from the US tight oil,” the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said in its long-term world oil outlook.

The US sanctions on OPEC members Venezuela and Iran have pushed oil prices to their highest since 2014 at around USD 80 a barrel, also spurring the US producers to ramp up output.

“The US remains by far the most important source of medium-term supply growth, contributing ... two-thirds of new supply, driven by surging tight oil output,” it said.

The United States has pushed oil output to record levels in recent years on the back of a shale revolution that allowed new technology to unlock reserves previously seen as uneconomic.

The country imported 4.4 million barrels per day (bpd) oil in August, costing about USD 12 billion, according to government data.

The United States will increase tight oil production to 13.4 million bpd in 2023 from 7.4 million bpd in 2017, with total US output reaching 20 million bpd, OPEC said.

That would make the United States, once the largest crude importer, self-sufficient in oil.

As a result of these tectonic changes, demand for OPEC crude is seen declining to 31.6 million bpd in 2023 from 32.6 million in 2017.

In its 2017 report, OPEC had expected demand for its crude to be around 33 million bpd until the mid-2020s.

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