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In the first quarter of 2015 the world total oil supply* exceeded demand by the record 2.4 million barrels per day. The glut has been caused by the sluggish demand, mainly in Europe and Japan, and by the significant rise in the U. S. oil output at the same time. However in recent months the situation has changed: based on the EIA’s weekly reports, US crude oil production began slightly decreasing from the end of the third week of March; other regions have also decreased their production (Russia and Brazil, in particular, see the minimap below). The demand side got some support from the start of the U. S. driving season. 

OPEC usually determine required production level by the difference of the world demand and the actual oil supply amounts from the non-OPEC countries. But in the environment of falling prices OPEC members have chosen not to cut the production to keep their market share. For now, the OPEC production is about 1.5 - 2 million barrels per day higher than the current requirement. However, at the upcoming meeting OPEC may leave the production unchanged again or cut it just a bit. According to the latest OPEC projections**, the cartel expects significant rise in the demand for oil in Q3-Q4 of 2015 (to the 93.9 m/bd by the end of year) and maintains its current production exactly at the level justified by the expected future requirement.

Source: Oil Supply and Demand: OPEC Estimates And Projections, May 2015

* Note: oil supply totals include the production of crude oil (including lease condensate), natural gas plant liquids, and other liquids, and refinery processing gain. For the individual OPEC member states only crude oil production data are available.

** Estimates and projections as of May 2015, from the latest available OPEC oil market report.

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