* IEA raises forecast for global oil demand growth
* Call on OPEC increased by 200,000 bpd for 2014
* Rapid rise in U.S. crude oil production to continue
(Adds U.S., December OECD stocks data)
By Lin Noueihed and Christopher Johnson
LONDON, Jan 21 Global oil demand will rise more
quickly this year as economic growth in industrialised countries
accelerates, absorbing more supply even as U.S. shale oil
production reaches record highs, the West's energy watchdog said
The International Energy Agency (IEA) said world oil
consumption would increase by 1.3 million barrels per day (bpd)
in 2014, 50,000 bpd higher than previously forecast.
"Global oil demand growth appears to have gradually gained
momentum in the last 18 months, driven by economic recovery in
the developed world," the IEA said in its monthly report.
"Most OECD economies have by now largely exited the
restraints of recession, with strong gains in some countries in
the energy-intensive manufacturing and petrochemical sectors."
Oil demand growth has been boosted by a robust economic
rebound in the United States, where the IEA has revised up its
2013 demand estimate by 180,000 bpd to 18.9 million bpd.
U.S. oil production is increasing rapidly and is forecast to
rise by 780,000 bpd this year, but the Organization of the
Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will also have to pump more
to meet increasing demand.
The IEA, which advises most of the largest energy-consuming
countries on energy policy, raised its demand forecast for OPEC
oil this year by 200,000 bpd to 29.4 million bpd.
Last year, political unrest led to a plunge in Libyan
exports, at times to less than 10 percent of capacity, and more
Iranian barrels disappeared from the market due to sanctions.
But OPEC crude oil supply edged higher in December,
reversing four months of declines, the IEA said, with Saudi
Arabia and the United Arab Emirates leading the increase. Libya
saw a modest rise, and Iraq was the only member to post a fall.
Iranian supplies contracted by 200,000 bpd last year but
edged higher in December as diplomatic activity aimed at halting
Tehran's nuclear activity gained momentum.
The IEA said rising U.S. crude production helped balance the
effects of supply disruptions among some OPEC countries.
"Most prominent among those shifts was the relentless rise
in U.S. crude production, whose 990,000 bpd growth, one of the
largest annual gains on record for any country, helped blunt the
impact of supply declines elsewhere, notably Libya and Iran,"
the report said.
The loss of oil production from Libya and Iran has helped
keep a floor under prices, but the increasing U.S. output has
Brent crude averaged around $108.70 a barrel last
year, about $3 less than in 2012, and on Tuesday traded around
U.S. production growth in 2013 far surpassed the IEA's own
projections, registering the fastest absolute annual supply
expansion of any country in the past two decades, the report
However, the IEA said the energy industry had absorbed the
extra supply through refinery and pipeline expansions and growth
in crude rail transport.
"The trend in U.S. production looks set to continue in 2014
and beyond, providing once again the largest changes in the
market," the report said.
Demand over the last few months has depleted oil inventories
despite rising production, it said.
The Paris-based agency said commercial oil stocks in the
world's industrialised nations plummeted in November by 53.6
million barrels, the biggest monthly decline since 2011.
Preliminary data for December suggests a further 42.5
million barrel draw in OECD inventories.
(Editing by Jane Baird and Dale Hudson)