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Global liquid fuels consumption outpaced production in March and April 2013, resulting in a 1.1-million-barrel-per-day (bbl/d) average draw in global oil stocks, according to a report released today by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Despite consumption exceeding production, crude oil prices were lower during the two-month period, reflecting weaker expectations for global economic growth.
Additional findings of the report include:
- The Brent front month futures price reached its lowest level since July 2012, averaging about $99 per barrel for the five-day period ending April 23.
- Non-OECD countries accounted for nearly all of the increase in total world oil consumption over year-ago levels and the three-year average.
- The total volume of production that is offline due to unplanned outages in non-OPEC countries averaged 0.9 million bbl/d in March and April 2013, virtually unchanged from the previous two-month period. Unplanned non-OPEC outages continue to exceed the more typical levels that prevailed in the fourth quarter 2011.
- Global surplus oil production capacity increased by an average of 0.8 million bbl/d in March and April 2013 compared with the year-ago level, but it still remains 0.2 million bbl/d lower than the historical three-year average.
- Greater spare production capacity and smaller inventory draws in March and April 2013 compared with January and February 2013 support a looser international crude oil market.
This is the eighth in a series of reports prepared in fulfillment of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The law requires EIA to submit to Congress a bimonthly report on the availability and price of petroleum and petroleum products produced in countries other than Iran.