LONDON (Reuters) – The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has revised downwards its estimate for 2005 world oil demand by 20,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 83.9 million bpd, the group”s monthly report said on Thursday. It said it was projecting a growth rate of 2.2 percent or 1.8 million bpd.
"The downward revision to last month”s growth estimate results from slightly lower expected growth in two OECD regions — North America and Western Europe — as well as downward revisions to projections for Latin America and the Middle East.
OPEC”s forecast compares to a 1.9 million bpd growth projection for 2005 to 84.3 million bpd by the International Energy Agency.
The group also revised the quarterly distribution of the call for its own crude. It upped its projection for the third quarter of 2005 by 200,000 bpd to 29.1 million bpd and for the fourth quarter by 100,000 bpd to 30.6 million bpd.
OPEC production in May, including Iraq, rose above 30 million barrels per day (bpd), a 97,000 bpd increase from the previous month.
Its almost flat-out production has not brought down prices, which are still around $55 a barrel, but has helped to substantially build crude inventories.
The OPEC report said that total stocks in the United States, including commercial inventories and the crude in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, were at an all time high of 1.7 billion barrels. It said European stocks were also 2.4 percent above year-ago levels.
The group has blamed a shortage of refining capacity to produce sufficient refined oil products for the high world oil prices.