Oil output by OPEC members likely to remain strong next year

Oil output by OPEC members likely to remain strong next year Dubai: Output by OPEC block is likely to remain strong in 2013 as only a few member countries may be able to increase oil production from current levels, says a report.

According to a Saudi Gazette report based on Gulf Oil Review (GOR), surging US production helped by high shale output has been the supply-side story of 2012.

However, with other non-OPEC producers struggling to achieve their target, the impact of the rise in shale-oil production may be muted by weak performance elsewhere in the year ahead, it said.

According to the review, Libya has reached its pre-war disruption level of around 1.6 million b/d (barrels per day).

"At best, we expect it (Libya) to maintain this production level. A slight decline in its output, seen in recent months, may even continue," it said.

The report said Iraq can increase its production from current levels of around 3.2 million b/d, but is less likely to reach the official target of 3.7 million b/d in 2013.

Net non-OPEC supply growth in 2012 will amount to just 500,000 b/d at best.

According to the report, there are two extreme scenarios for 2013: the first could see a glut of supply amid falling global demand, forcing OPEC to cut output and put a floor beneath the price.

The second sees non-OPEC supply lower than expected, global demand rebounding strongly, the geopolitical situation worsening and OPEC struggling to fill the gap, prompting a sharp rise in oil prices.

PTI