OPEC reported in its January Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR) that OECD commercial stocks fell to 2.993 billion barrels, around 271 million barrels above the latest five-year average. Saudi Arabia's energy minister, Khalid Al-Falih, stated last week that production cuts by OPEC and non-OPEC countries may reduce global oil inventories to the five-year average by June thereby rendering a continuation of the cuts unnecessary.
But three closely-watched sources of energy data do not support such a drop in global oil inventories. The Energy Information Administration (EIA), the International Energy Agency (IEA) and OPEC itself published their monthly reports in January, attempting to include impacts of the production cuts. Two of the sources, EIA and OPEC, provide data that show (or imply) stock builds over the first half, and the IEA data show a drawdown but not of the magnitude suggested by Mr. Al-Fahil. Continue reading "OPEC's Claim To Eliminate The Oil Glut By June Unsupported By Data"