(EnergyAsia, June 2 2014, Monday) — Citing the impact of Ukraine’s political crisis on Central Asia, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) has lowered its May forecasts for global oil demand growth from its previous April call.

The world will consume 91.56 million this year and b/d 92.80 million b/d in 2015, said the US agency’s latest monthly short-term energy outlook. In April, it had forecast global oil consumption to reach 92.97 million b/d and 91.61 million b/d for the two respective years.

Global oil demand will grow by 1.35% in 2015, and by 1.31% this year, down from the previous projected growth rates of 1.48% and 1.36% for the two respective years.

Among the major markets, the EIA raised its 2014 consumption growth forecasts only for North America, led by the US, from 23.34 million b/d to 23.37 million b/d. It kept its forecasts for the other major markets including China, Japan and Europe despite citing signs of slower economic growth.

The agency expects Brent crude oil to average US$106 per barrel in 2014 and US$102 in 2015, and US WTI to sell at a discount of US$10 to the North Sea blend for this year and US$11 next year.

EIA expects non-OPEC liquid fuel production to grow by 1.5 million b/d this year and by a further 1.1 million b/d in 2015, after rising by 1.3 million b/d last year to reach 54 million b/d.

Led by Russia, the countries of the former Soviet Union will raise production by an annual average of 210,000 b/d in 2014 and by 30,000 b/d next year, said the EIA.

“The forecast of completion of phase 1 of Kazakhstan’s Kashagan field has been pushed back to the second half of 2015 because of continued problems delaying the start of commercial production at the field,” it said.

Unplanned supply disruptions in South Sudan, Syria, and Yemen helped slash non-OPEC crude oil production by 600,000 b/d in April, same as in March. OPEC’s production averaged 30 million b/d in 2013, down by 900,000 b/d from the previous year, primarily reflecting production declines in Iran, increased unplanned outages in Libya, Nigeria, and Iraq.

EIA expects OPEC crude oil production to fall by 400,000 b/d this year and by a further 100,000 b/d next year, due mostly to unscheduled supply disruptions in north Africa and cutbacks in the Middle East in the face of growing competition from North America.