OPEC revises 2008 growth demand downwards

Business Materials 15 February 2008 16:34 (UTC +04:00)

(dpa) - World oil demand in 2008 is expected to grow by 1.2 million barrels per day (mb/d) to an average of 86.99 mb/d, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said, revising downwards previous estimates of 87.07 mb/d.

"The slow world economy, warm winter in the Pacific along with weather-related disruptions in China over the New Year holiday caused lower-than expected oil consumption," OPEC said in its monthly oil report released on Friday.

The likelihood of warm weather, oil prices and the slowdown of the US economy and its knock-on effects on OECD economies were other factors to be taken into consideration, as were European Union plans to increase the use of renewable energy.

In the first quarter of 2008, healthy demand from non-OECD economies are expected to push total demand by 1.4 mb/d, while demand growth in North America was revised downwards to 0.24 mb/d year-on- year. China's oil demand is expected to grow by 0.32 mb/d to average 7.8 mb/d.

OPEC put 2007 demand growth at 1.2 mb/d, an increase by 1.4 per cent in a year-on-year comparison. Forth-quarter demand, forecast at 1.7 mb/d was high, due to the winter season in the northern hemisphere.

The cartel's crude production meanwhile averaged 32.0 mb/d in January, OPEC said, putting its share at 37 per cent of global crude production.