(EnergyAsia, January 29 2013, Tuesday) — For the third consecutive month, the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has kept its forecasts for global oil demand to grow by just under 800,000 b/d for 2013.

With no major revision to its November and December outlook, OPEC said it expects world demand to grow by 760,000 b/d to reach 88.55 million b/d in 2013.

The oil cartel expects the US economy to expand by 2% this year while uncertainty in the Eurozone will create uncertainty in the outlook for China, which recently improved on the back of strong export and investment growth.

The decline in oil consumption by the developed economies will be more than offset by a projected one million-b/d increase in the emerging economies.

On the supply side, OPEC has forecast US oil production to rise by 490,000 b/d to reach 10.44 million b/d, its highest level in recent years. The bulk of the production increase will come from deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and North Dakota’s unconventional reserves.