OPEC and the OECD’s IEA energy watchdog share many of the same assumptions on 2013 oil demand and supply. But convergence on global outlooks disguises some striking differences in the sources of demand and supply growth.

OPEC’s Monthly Oil Market Report (MOMR) for March sees global oil demand up 0.8mn b/d for both 2012 and 2013, while the IEA’s Oil Market Report sees oil demand growth last year at 0.9mn b/d, with 0.8mn b/d for 2013. Both project 2013 US demand growth as lower than it could have been. “The world’s largest oil consumer, the US, which had been showing signs of a pick-up in economic recovery, now has to absorb $85bn in government spending cuts... unless US politicians come to a late agreement,” notes the IEA. Nevertheless it projects North American demand growth as flipping into positive territory in 2013 after two years of decline. By contrast OPEC sees 2013 oil demand in the Americas as flat. (CONTINUED - 611 WORDS)