Feb 13th 2012
Gloomy economic outlook leads to lower global oil demand forecasts
In its most recent Monthly Oil Market Report published on Thursday 9 February the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) revised down its forecast of world oil demand growth in 2012 by 120,000bl/day to 0.9mn bl/day based on last month's report. Concerns about the US economy and EU debt crisis are adding to the uncertainties impacting world oil consumption during this year. In addition high retail petroleum prices have led to a further reduction in transport fuel usage. The Opec reference basket increased 4% over January to average $111.76/bl as a result of better-than-expected US economic data and renewed tensions in the Middle East.
Meanwhile the February issue of the Oil Market Report published by the International Energy Agency (IEA) on Friday 10 February also lowered its forecast for global oil demand growth by 0.3mn bl/day from its January report to 0.8mn bl/day following a reduction in its economic growth forecast. The IEA noted that the conflicting effects of tensions with Iran and a weaker economic outlook had kept Brent crude prices stable, but the cold weather in Europe had caused the month-ahead Brent crude price to climb to $117.50/bl. In contrast the West Texas Intermediate contract had fallen to $99.50/bl on higher US oil stocks.
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