Asia to contribute third of oil demand - expert

23 August 2007 08:44  [Source: ICIS news]

BANGKOK (ICIS news)--By 2017, Asia will contribute nearly a third of global oil demand, up from about a quarter currently, largely to due to growth in emerging markets in the region, an industry expert said on Thursday.


Increased orders for petrochemical feedstocks would drive demand for oil products in Asia, said Bakhtiar Talha, a director of consultant PFC Energy based in Kuala Lumpur, at the 4th Thai Petrochemical Industry 2007 seminar here.


Demand for naphtha would be the main driver of growth, jumping to nearly 9m bpd (barrels per day) by 2017, from about 6m bpd last year, he added.


Naphtha demand would comprise about a third of total oil product demand in Asia over the next decade, he said.


The recent spike in oil prices led to a rise in feedstock costs for many petrochemical firms and OPEC seemed intent on defending $60/bbl on the world markets, he said.


"The bottom line is that governments want to see more money from oil," he said.


Demand could drop if countries insisted on switching to alternative fuels like ethanol, he added. However, improvements in fuel efficiency would do more to reduce oil demand in the future than simply switching to alternatives, he said.


Oil refining capacity remained tight right now, he said, adding it should ease in the future as operators boosted capacity to produce more light products like naphtha.

By: Daniel Ten Kate
+65 6780 4359

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