Liquids supply


A slow road to recovery for medium-term non-OPEC supply

Total non-OPEC liquids supply is expected to shrink from 56.9 mb/d in 2015 to 55.9 mb/d in 2017 – a decline of 1 mb/d – in response to reduced spending in the lower oil price environment. A slow recovery in output is then projected for the rest of the medium-term, in line with the gradual rise in the Outlook’s price assumption over the period. By 2021, supply is seen reaching 58.6 mb/d, with most of the growth coming from Latin America and the US & Canada.

Non-OPEC supply fairly flat over long-term, but declines post-2030

Non-OPEC liquids output is seen rising to a high of 61.4 mb/d in 2027 and then slowly dropping to 58.9 mb/d in 2040. The OECD reaches a maximum of 27.5 mb/d in 2027 (mainly from the US & Canada), while Developing countries (particularly Latin America) reach a high of 17.3 mb/d in 2024. Only Eurasia continues to grow over the long-term, reaching 14.7 mb/d in 2040.

Until 2030, a major source of growth is US tight crude. Around this time, tight crude begins to contract, while sources like oil sands and biofuels become more important non-OPEC supply growth drivers.

Tight oil makes a comeback, then gradually declines

On the back of lower oil prices and investment cuts, the production of tight oil (tight crude and unconventional natural gas liquids (NGLs)) is seen falling in both 2016 and 2017. It is then expected to return to a positive growth pattern. Global tight crude plus unconventional NGLs production reaches a high of approximately 10 mb/d in 2029 and then remains relatively level for a few years thereafter, before declining to below 9 mb/d in 2040. At that stage, around 8 mb/d of this production is anticipated to come from the US & Canada. Some long-term tight oil production is also anticipated from Argentina and Russia. The higher projections in this year’s outlook are due to reduced costs and the sector’s productivity improvements, some of which are anticipated to have lasting effects.

OPEC crude relatively flat from 2019–2025, but rises steadily post-2025

The demand for OPEC crude rises from 32 mb/d in 2015 to 33.4 mb/d in 2018. It then stays approximately constant for several years – hovering in the range of 33.6–33.8 mb/d between 2019 and 2025. From that point forward, OPEC crude exhibits steady growth until the end of the projection period when it is anticipated to reach 41 mb/d. Moreover, the estimated share of OPEC crude in the total world liquids supply in 2040 is 37%, which is 3 percentage points higher than the 2015 level.

Non-OPEC supply outlook still marked by uncertainty

To reflect supply uncertainties that result from various factors including costs, technologies, geology, policies and geopolitical developments, upside and downside scenarios have been developed for non-OPEC supply sources including tight oil, crude, NGLs, biofuels and other liquids. By 2040, non-OPEC output reaches 63.2 mb/d in the upside scenario and 55.8 mb/d in the downside scenario – compared with 58.9 mb/d in the Reference Case. It should be noted that these scenarios also lead to a range of requirements for OPEC crude over the long-term. In the Reference Case, demand for OPEC crude amounts to 41 mb/d in 2040. In the downside non-OPEC supply scenario OPEC crude increases to 44.1 mb/d and in the upside non-OPEC supply scenario it drops to 36.6 mb/d in 2040.

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