By Chika Amanze-Nwachuku
The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has cut its estimate for world oil demand for this year, saying it expects no growth in oil demand for next year due to uncertainty in the global economy.
In its just-released Oil Market Report (OMR), the 12-member group, which controls a third of world’s oil, said uncertainty in the world economy was taking toll on oil demand, especially in the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) region.
The group said OECD growth expectations for 2011 currently stand at 1.6 per cent, significantly lower than the initial forecast of 2.0 per cent.
OPEC said world oil demand will be about 180,000 barrels per day less than its forecast for 2011. For 2012 OPEC said estimated world oil demand growth will fall by 1.2 million barrels per day to just over 88 million, while estimated demand for its own oil remains 29.9 million barrels a day, just 100,000 barrels a day higher that last year.
Oil demand in developed nations has been flat or declining, but demand from the developing economies of Asia has been pushing world oil consumption higher, according to the report.
OPEC also noted that policies in China and India to curb growing oil consumption will lead to lower demand in those countries than originally forecast. The group also expressed confidence that Europe's efforts to tackle its debt crisis would help prevent a new downturn.
“I don't think we will have a double-dip recession. Europe is working hard to revive the economy,” OPEC's Secretary General Abdallah El-Badri was quoted to have said on the sidelines of the industry's Oil & Money conference in London. “The market is balanced, comfortable, prices are reasonable. We are not panicking,” he added.