Global oil supply may see shortage after 2020IEA

Sarah Carter
Sarah Carter

07 March 2017


Global oil supply could struggle to keep pace with demand after 2020, risking a sharp increase in prices, unless new projects are approved soon, according to the latest five-year oil market forecast from the International Energy Agency (IEA). The global picture appears comfortable for the next three years but supply growth slows considerably after that, according to Oil 2017, the IEA’s market analysis and forecast report previously known as the Medium-Term Oil Market Report. The demand and supply trends point to a tight global oil market, with spare production capacity in 2022 falling to a 14-year low. In the next few years, oil supply is growing in the United States, Canada, Brazil and elsewhere but this growth could stall by 2020 if the record two-year investment slump of 2015 and 2016 is not reversed. While investments in the US shale play are picking up strongly, early indications of global spending for 2017 are not encouraging. "We are witnessing the start of a second wave of US supply growth, and its size will depend on where prices go,” said Dr Fatih Birol, the IEA’s Executive Director. “But this is no time for complacency. We don’t see a peak in oil demand any time soon. And unless investments globally rebound sharply, a new period of price volatility looms on the horizon.” The largest contribution to new supplies will come from the United States. Within OPEC, the bulk of new supplies will come from major low-cost Middle Eastern producers. For its part, production from Russia is forecast to remain stable over the next five years. The report also highlights changes in international oil-trade flows and investments in storage infrastructure.