Oil demand to remain high after Libya's return: Kuwait

AFP, Monday 31 Oct 2011

OPEC estimates show world demand will grow by up to 1.5 million barrels per day until early 2012, says emirate's oil minister

Kuwait's Oil Minister Mohammad al-Baseeri said on Monday that world demand for crude oil is forecast to remain high and put pressure on supply even after Libya returns to pre-crisis production.

"Libya's return (to full production) is still very slow and is expected to take time to reach pre-crisis production," Baseeri told reporters on the sidelines of the Kuwait Financial Forum.

"But regardless of whether Libya's production returns or not, the world market will continue to need more oil ... increasing the burden on main OPEC producers," he said.

Baseeri said that based on OPEC estimates, world market demand is forecast to grow by between 1.0 and 1.5 million barrels per day "for the rest of this year and the beginning of next year."

The minister said Kuwait continued to produce 2.9 million bpd in October after reaching this level in the previous month, adding that OPEC's third largest producer "is capable of sustaining this output level."

All non-OPEC and most of OPEC producers were pumping at full capacity and "only Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and UAE have spare capacity," said Baseeri, adding that if they had not raised output, oil prices would have been higher now.

Crude prices turned lower in Asian trade Monday as the market went into profit-taking mode on the back of the strengthening US dollar.
New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in December, slipped 90 cents to $92.42 per barrel.

Brent North Sea crude for December delivery shed 96 cents to $108.95.

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