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Opec crude supply increases to 30 million b/d

Figures from the IEA report suggest Opec is likely to see spare production capacity build up over the next few years

Opec crude production increased by 200,000 barrels a day (b/d) to 30.70 million b/d in April, led by rises from Iraq. The call on Ope - the amount of crude oil the organisation needs to produce to balance global oil markets - fell by 400,0000 b/d for the second quarter of 2013 to 28.9m b/d, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said.

This was driven by higher natural gas-to-liquids output from Opec and increased non-Opec supplies. Opec ministers are due to meet in Vienna on 31 May to review the market outlook.

The IEA said in its Medium Term Oil Market Report that after years of tight supply, Opec is likely to see significant spare production capacity build up over the next few years. The cartel’s spare capacity is forecast to peak at 7.18m b/d in 2015, up from 5.76m b/d this year, before falling back to 6.38m b/d in 2018, the IEA said.

The IEA expects non-Opec supply to increase by 50,000 b/d in 2013, to 54.5m b/d. This is driven by rebounding crude output from South Sudan and strong North American oil sands and tight oil production. The IEA’s estimates for annual growth are unchanged at 1.1m b/d after new US and Australian data raised the total 2012 estimate by 100,000 b/d.

The IEA said OECD commercial oil stocks gained 14.9m barrels in March, to reach 2.6bn barrels, after a steep Japanese build added 32.4m barrels to the total. OECD product stocks fell slightly  to 31.2 days. The IEA said that preliminary data suggest total oil stocks built by a further 27.7m barrels in April.

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