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Snapshot of global oil supply and demand: December 2021

Our dashboard explores key short-term signposts impacting oil demand, supply, and prices.
 Elif Kutsal

 Dominika Balikova

 Thiago Melo

Crude oil prices continued to decline in December while Omicron case numbers grew worldwide, however oil demand increased by 1.9 MMb/d. Fluctuations in short-term signposts compared to the prior month include:

  • Oil prices. The emergence of the COVID-19 Omicron variant in late November has continued to weaken market sentiment and as a result, Brent crude oil prices decreased by USD6.9/bbl on average in December to USD74.2/bbl and WTI by USD7.4/bbl to USD71.7/bbl
  • Global oil demand. Global liquids demand increased by 1.9 MMb/d in December to 101.1 MMb/d. For the second month in a row, Chinese demand saw the largest m-o-m increase of 0.6 MMb/d to 16 MMb/d, while Europe continued to record the largest m-o-m decrease of 0.2 MMb/d to 14 MMb/d due to a rise in COVID cases and restrictions
  • Commercial inventories. Commercial inventories decreased by 50 million barrels in December to 4.3 billion barrels globally, mostly driven by a decrease in OECD inventory
  • OPEC 10 production (excl. Iran, Venezuela, Libya). OPEC 10 production rose by 0.3 MMb/d m-o-m as the bloc continued to increase output. The production increase was mainly driven by United Arab Emirates, where output rose by 0.1 MMb/d m-o-m to 2.9 MMb/d. OPEC 10 output is up by 1.7 MMb/d y-o-y, however still 1.4 MMb/d down compared to pre-COVID levels on December 19
  • Non-OPEC production (excl. US shale). Non-OPEC production decreased by 0.3 MMb/d m-o-m in December to 56.6 MMb/d, mostly driven by Brazil, with the largest m-o-m decrease in the group of 0.2 MMb/d to 3.2 MMb/d
  • US shale oil production. US shale oil production increased by 0.1 MMb/d m-o-m to 8.3 MMb/d in December, up by 0.4 MMb/d y-o-y. Despite rising monthly output, production levels are still below pre-pandemic levels of >9 MMb/d
  • Iran, Venezuela, Libya production. Iran, Venezuela, and Libya production decreased by 0.1 MMb/d m-o-m to 4.2 MMb/d, mostly driven by Libya, where production output declined by 0.1 MMb/d m-o-m, reaching its lowest level in 2021 of 1 MMb/d
  • Market sentiment. Even though Omicron case numbers are increasing worldwide, oil demand increased by 1.9 MMb/d in December. Meanwhile, OPEC+ agreed to stick with its planned production increase over winter based on the indication that Omicron's impact on global demand will be relatively mild
Snapshot of global oil supply and demand: May 2021

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Oil supply & demand dashboard: December 2021

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