IEA and EIA dropped an oil-glut bomb this month. Their September monthly reports indicate that the world continues to have a glut of oil with little hope of a balanced market in the near future.

IEA’s Oil Market Report focused on weakening demand growth for oil.Their quarterly data shows that year-over-year demand growth has decreased consistently from 2.3 mmb/day in the third quarter of 2015 to 1.4 mmb/day for the second quarter of 2016 (Figure 1). The forecast for the third quarter is only 1.2 mmb/day.

Figure 1. IEA world liquids demand growth is decreasing. Source: IEA OMR September 2016 and Labyrinth Consulting Services, Inc.

IEA downgraded its forecast for 2016 to an average of 1.3 mmb/day annual demand growth and only 1.2 mmb/day for 2017.

EIA monthly data from the September STEO (Short Term Energy Outlook) shows that world oil-consumption growth has declined from more than 4% in late 2015 and early 2016 to 2.1% in August 2016 (Figure 2).

Figure 2. EIA Consumption Growth is Decreasing With Increasing Oil Prices. Source: EIA September 2016 STEO and Labyrinth Consulting Services, Inc.

EIA data indicates that maximum consumption growth as a percentage occurred when oil prices were falling into the low-$30 range and that it has weakened as prices increased into the mid- to upper-$40 range. This suggests the global economy is too weak to support oil prices in the current range.

The world production surplus increased in August because production increased and consumption decreased. The over-supply rose to +0.97 million barrels of liquids per day from near-market balance (+0.12 million barrels per day) in June (Figure 3).

Figure 3. EIA World Liquids Production Surplus: +0.97 Million Barrels Per Day. Source: EIA September STEO and Labyrinth Consulting Services, Inc.


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