By Ahmad Ghaddar
LONDON - OPEC on Thursday revised its forecast for supply growth from its rivals for 2018 by nearly three times more than its revised projection of growth in global oil demand.
It said growth in non-OPEC oil supply was forecast to rise by a further 80,000 barrels per day this year to 1.71 million bpd, driven largely by higher-than-anticipated growth in the first quarter in the United States and the former Soviet Union.
At the same time, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries increased its forecast for global oil demand growth for this year by 30,000 bpd to 1.63 million bpd.
"This mainly reflects the positive momentum in the OECD in the 1Q18 on the back of better-than-expected data, and supported by development in industrial activities, colder-than-anticipated weather and strong mining activities in the OECD Americas and the OECD Asia Pacific," it said in its monthly market report.
The 14-member, Vienna-based producer group said its collective output according to secondary sources fell by 201,000 bpd to 31.96 million bpd in March from February, driven by declines in Angola, Algeria, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and Libya.
Production in the United Arab Emirates posted the largest month-on-month increase, according to the secondary sources, rising by around 45,000 bpd in March to 2.86 million bpd.
OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia told the group it pumped 9.907 million bpd in March, 28,000 bpd below its February level.
Venezuela reported production of 1.509 million bpd in March, 77,000 bpd below the level it reported in February.
OPEC, Russia and several other non-OPEC producers began to cut supply in January 2017 in an effort to erase a global glut of crude that had built up since 2014.
The pact runs until the end of the year and OPEC meets in Vienna in June to decide on its next course of action.
Oil stocks in the developed world reversed a rise in January to fall by 17.4 million barrels in February to 2.854 billion barrels, around 43 million barrels above the latest five-year average, OPEC said.
Stock levels are 207 million barrels below their level in February 2017.
"Crude stocks indicated a surplus of 55 million barrels, while product stocks witnessed a deficit of 12 million barrels less than the seasonal norm," the report said.
(Reporting by Ahmad Ghaddar; Editing by Dale Hudson)