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IEA expects further oil boom, but 'inflexion point' nears

The International Energy Agency has said it expects global oil demand to rise over the next five years. But its latest medium-term market report also warned growth might decelerate later for environmental reasons.

The IEA's Medium-Term Oil Market Report 2014 said it saw global demand increasing by 1.3 percent annually to 99.1 million barrels per day in 2019. But it also spoke of an "inflexion point" which would decelerate growth later on due to high oil prices, cheaper fuel alternatives and environmental concerns.

The IEA's Medium-Term Oil Market Report 2014 said it saw global demand increasing by 1.3 percent annually to 99.1 million barrels per day in 2019. But it also spoke of an "inflexion point" which would decelerate growth later on due to high oil prices, cheaper fuel alternatives and environmental concerns.

The agency said that only the US currently has the unique mix of legal and geographic conditions in place to bring about a shale-oil and light-tight-oil (LTO) boom. But it added many nations would seek to replicate America's success story in the years ahead.

"We're continuing to see unprecedented production growth from North America and the US in particular," IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven said in a statement. "By the end of the decade, North America will have the capacity to become a net exporter of oil liquids."

Iraq in focus

In contrast, OPEC would likely face significant headwinds in expanding capacity over coming years, the IEA claimed in its report.

Oil prices rise as crisis in Iraq continues

It cited the organization's ageing fields, as well as mounting security concerns that have become a growing issue for several nations and for investors.

The report noted that as much as three fifths of OPEC's expected capacity growth by 2019 was set to come from Iraq. But the projected addition of 1.28 million barrels per day to Iraqi production by that time was made before the Iraqi government lost control of several key cities, including the oil refinery town of Baiji, as a result of an on-going military campaign launched by Sunni insurgents.

hg/nz (Reuters, IEA)

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