World oil demand halts decline, starts to show growth – OPEC

10 May 2012 11:40  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--World oil demand has halted its decline and has started to show growth following stabilisation in the US economy and the shutdown of Japan’s nuclear power plants, OPEC said on Thursday.

The cartel’s global oil demand growth forecast for 2012 is set at 900,000 bbl/day to average 88.7m bbl/day, a minor upward change from the last estimate.

“World oil demand has – at least, for the short term – stopped its decline and has begun to show growth,” OPEC said in its May monthly oil report.

Oil use in both the US and Japan has been growing and demand in non-OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries is showing signs of improvement.

India and Saudi Arabia are consuming more oil than expected, OPEC said, while warning that Europe’s economy was “subject to some uncertainties”.

And in the US, the upcoming driving season may be affected by high gasoline prices in conjunction with economic uncertainty, pushing oil demand down.

This would cut the current 2012 world demand growth forecast by between 200,000 bbl/day and 300,000 bbl/day, said OPEC.

Also, if Japan restarts its nuclear power plants, the country’s high oil usage would slow down dramatically.

Projected demand for OPEC crude in 2012 was unchanged from the previous report, at an average of 30m bbl/day.

Non-OPEC supply is forecast to grow by 600,000 bbl/day in 2012, a slight upward revision of 50,000 bbl/day from the previous report.

OPEC’s 2012 world economic growth expectations were unchanged at 3.3%.

By: Graeme Paterson
+44 20 8652 3214

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