OPEC Sees Lower 2015 Demand For Its Oil, Saudi Output Still High

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Global demand for oil from OPEC next year will be far below its current output level because of the US shale boom, the group says, as its top producer Saudi Arabia keeps silent.


LONDON, Nov 12 (Reuters) - Global demand for oil from OPEC next year will be far below its current output level because of the U.S. shale boom, the group said on Wednesday, as its top producer, Saudi Arabia, kept silent on whether it will cut output to remove surplus oil from the market.

Saudi Arabia, unusually, has not commented publicly on the fall in oil prices to their lowest since 2010, which has prompted industry watchers to wonder whether the kingdom may be moving away from a policy of simply managing the market and instead pursuing geopolitical goals.

Saudi Arabia has said in the past it adjusts its production according to market needs.

But its lack of response so far has triggered a number of theories: Riyadh may be hoping to curtail U.S. oil production, which needs high prices to keep booming, or it may wish to hurt Iran and Russia, which need higher prices to balance their budgets, for backing Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad.

Oil in October fell below $83 a barrel and on Tuesday reached $80.46, its lowest since 2010.

In a monthly report on Wednesday, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) forecast that 2015 demand for its oil will drop to 29.20 million barrels per day (bpd), or almost 1 million bpd less than it is currently producing.

This is the last report before OPEC meets in Vienna on Nov. 27 to discuss whether to respond to the drop in prices by cutting output for the first time since the financial crisis in 2008.


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