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Opec drives rise in world oil supply

Global oil supply rose by 185,000 b/d in February, to 87.5m b/d, as recovering output in Canada, Mexico and the Caspian region offset reductions seen in Norway and for Opec, according to the IEA. January's total supply figure was also revised up by 110,000 b/d, because of higher Opec crude supply.

Non-Opec production in February averaged 50.4m b/d, up by 300,000 b/d on the month, as the Americas and FSU recovered from January supply disruptions. For the whole of 2008, non-Opec supply growth is estimated at 0.910m b/d, with growth weighted towards the second half.

Opec crude supply in February averaged 32.1m b/d – down by 0.12m b/d from the upwardly revised January total. Mideast Gulf and west African producers together supplied 300,000 b/d less crude in February, although this was offset in part by a 150,000 b/d increase from Iraq, where production reached 2.4m b/d. Having rolled over its 29.67m b/d production target at its early March meeting, the cartel's effective spare capacity remains near 2m b/d, according to the IEA.

Meanwhile, the IEA says global refinery throughputs remain under downward pressure because of poor refining economics, seasonal maintenance and continuing operational problems. Run cuts continue to hamper activity in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, with year-on-year growth in the first quarter of 0.7m b/d being driven by China, the FSU and Asia.



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