IEA Trims Non-OPEC Supply Forecast

IEA Trims Non-OPEC Supply ForecastIEA Trims Non-OPEC Supply Forecast

The International Energy Agency on Wednesday cut its supply forecast for non-OPEC countries, citing downturns in North America and the "worsening conflict" in Yemen.

The Paris-based agency cut its 2015 forecast for non-OPEC output by 120,000 barrels a day to 630,000 bpd "on the back of a slightly more negative outlook for the US LTO (light tight oil) production and Canadian non-oil sands output, and of the fallout from the worsening conflict in Yemen," it said in its monthly report. "According to our latest estimates, fighting in Yemen has halved production to about 60,000 bpd in April, from an already depressed level of roughly 120,000 bpd," the IEA said, Middle East Online reported.

Meanwhile, although Yemen is a small oil producer accounting for a fraction of global output with negligible effect on prices, it borders Saudi Arabia and affects other Persian Gulf markets.

"Recently launched Saudi airstrikes have led international oil companies active in the country... to practically halt operations and pull out expatriate staff," the report said.

"The start of a Saudi-led military campaign against Yemen in late March sparked concern of possible supply disruptions through the area's vital sea lanes," it said. In North America, the IEA cited "signs that US LTO production month-on-month growth will grind to a halt as early as May," and noted a "continued drop in the number of oil rigs... reductions in capital expenditures, and a credit crunch among LTO producers in the US."

In Canada, the IEA pointed to "falling drilling rates and an increasing backlog of uncompleted wells."

Even though oil prices have more than halved in just six months, the OPEC has refused to cut its supply volume.