The full impact of sanctions and buyer aversion to Russian oil will take full effect from May onwards, the International Energy Agency said on Wednesday.
Still, lower demand amid a COVID-19 surge in China, output increases from OPEC+ producers and beyond along with the largest ever draw on emergency oil storage by the United States and its IEA member allies ought to prevent any sharp deficit, it said.
“For now, we assume (April) losses will grow to an average 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd) for the month as Russian refiners throttle back further and buyers shy away,” the Paris-based agency said in its monthly oil report.
“From May onwards, close to 3 million bpd could be offline as the full impact of a widening customer-driven voluntary embargo on Moscow comes into effect.”
The Russian shut-in is proceeding more slowly than the IEA had predicted last month when it saw the 3 million bpd loss taking effect from April.
Lockdowns to prevent the spread of coronavirus in China along with lower-than-forecast demand in the first quarter especially from the United States caused the IEA to lower its global oil demand forecast for the year by 260,000 bpd.