LONDON, April 16 (Reuters) – OPEC said on Thursday demand for its oil this year would be higher than previously thought as its strategy of letting prices fall to hurt other producers begins to take effect.
But the monthly report from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) also confirmed industry estimates of a surge in OPEC production in March, led by higher output in Saudi Arabia and Iraq and a partial recovery in Libyan production, adding to excess supplies.
OPEC, which pumps a third of the world’s oil, now forecasts demand for its oil would average 29.27 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2015, up 80,000 bpd from its previous prediction.
The report said non-OPEC supply would rise by only 680,000 bpd this year, down from its previous forecast of 850,000 bpd, reflecting lower expected output from the United States and other non-member countries.
OPEC is more than filling the gap. According to secondary sources cited by the report, it pumped 30.79 million bpd in March, an increase of 810,000 bpd from February. (Reporting by Alex Lawler, editing by William Hardy)