Oil Supply Outside OPEC Set to Disappoint: IEA

Oil producers outside OPEC will pump less oil than expected this year, the International Energy Agency said on Thursday, increasing the burden on OPEC just as the exporter group is trimming supply.

In its latest monthly report, the adviser to 26 industrialised countries forecast oil supply from non-OPEC will rise by 1.4 million barrels per day in 2007, less than the 1.7 million bpd expected last month.

"Non-OPEC supply is adjusted down significantly for 2007," the IEA said. "Norway, Mexico, Canada, Cuba and Ecuador underpin the revision, the former two following government announcements of markedly lower expectations for 2007."

The lower forecast from non-OPEC coincides with supply cuts by members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to stem a drop in oil prices, which hit a 20-month low on Wednesday towards $50 a barrel.

The IEA balanced the cut in expected supply from non-OPEC with a reduction in the estimate for growth in global demand, partly due to mild U.S. weather that has underpinned a drop in prices this year.

It said world demand will grow by 1.6%, or 1.39 million bpd, in 2007, less than the 1.43 million bpd expected last month.

Oil stocks in the OECD group of industrialised countries fell 33 million barrels in November and there are indications that the trend continued in December, the IEA said.