AEC: Supply Shock From North American Oil Ripples Through Global Markets


The supply shock created by a surge in North American oil production will be as transformative to the world energy market over the next five years as was the rise in Chinese demand has been over the last 15, says the International Energy Agency (IEA) in its annual Medium-Term Oil Market Report (MTOMR) released this week.

The IEA report states that the effects of continued growth in North American oil supply will cascade through the global oil market. “North America has set off a supply shock that is sending ripples throughout the world,” said IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven, who delivered the report at the Platts Crude Oil Summit in London.

“The good news is that this is helping to ease a market that was relatively tight for several years,” she added. “The technology that unlocked the bonanza in places like North Dakota can and will be applied elsewhere, potentially leading to a broad reassessment of reserves.” Expanding North American oil supply is great news for U.S. heating oil customers, because a growing oil supply is the best protection against oil price increases.

Market fundamentals suggest a more comfortable global oil supply/demand balance in the near future, the report states. It forecasts North American supply to grow by 3.9 million barrels per day (mb/d) from 2012 to 2018. “World liquid oil production capacity is expected to grow by 8.4 mb/d ‘ significantly faster than demand – which is projected to expand by 6.9 mb/d,” the report states.

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