PARIS, April 11 Global supply and demand for
crude oil should continue to be fairly balanced this year, the
secretary general of OPEC said, signalling the group is likely
to leave its existing output ceiling in place at its June
"Looking at the current situation, we see the market as
relatively balanced, and we expect this to be the case for the
rest of 2014," Abdullah al-Badri, of the Organization of the
Petroleum Exporting Countries, said on Friday.
In a speech to the Petrostrategies' International Oil Summit
in Paris, he said OPEC's crude output was currently close to 30
million barrels a day, its official production target.
"This is what is required by the market," he said.
OPEC expects its output to remain steady in the medium term
at 29 million to 30 million barrels a day, he said, adding that
this would mean a rise in spare capacity towards what he
described as "comfortable levels".
OPEC this week lowered its oil demand outlook for 2014 and
ended a run of upward revisions to global consumption growth,
highlighting concerns over the economy and pressure on its
market share from rival producers.
In a separate report on Friday, the International Energy
Agency also forecast that world oil demand would rise less than
previously thought this year due to a lower outlook for Russia's
economic growth following its annexation of Crimea.
The IEA also reduced its expectations for the supply
increase from non-OPEC countries this year, however, saying that
OPEC would have to raise its production from March levels, which
it estimated at 29.62 million bpd.
Prices for benchmark Brent oil futures have traded so far
this year in a relatively narrow range of about $104 to $112 per
"Prices have held fairly steady for the past 18 months or
so. It is a level that has been acceptable to both producers and
consumers," Badri said.
"In recent months, there has also been talk of falling
prices. This is obviously difficult to assess."
(Reporting by Gus Trompiz and Michel Rose; editing by Jane