Global oil demand returns to growth in Q4: IEA

Global oil demand returns to growth in Q4: IEA

London: Global oil demand will grow in the fourth quarter of 2009, its first year-on-year increase in fuel use since the second quarter of 2008, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Thursday.

The Paris-based adviser to 28 industrialised economies raised its global oil demand estimate for 2009 as a whole by 210,000 barrels to 84.8 million barrels per day (bpd), following a strengthening of the world economy.

Next year oil demand is expected to average 86.2 million bpd, following stronger-than-expected preliminary data in North America and buoyant demand in non-OECD Asia and the Middle East, the IEA said in its November monthly report.

While Asia leads the growth, consumers in developed countries, where economies are still fragile, are more sensitive to high prices, with signs of demand destruction when the price rises above $80 a barrel, the IEA’s head of oil industry and markets division David Fyfe said.

“If prices keep rebounding, there’s a risk to the global economy as a whole, even to some of those economies in the Far East and even the Middle East," Fyfe said.

Oil edged below $79 a barrel on Thursday, just off a year-high of $82 touched in October.

The IEA is more bullish about the prospects for oil consumption than the two other major oil forecasters, the US government’s Energy Information Administration and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec), who released reports earlier this week.

Oil inventories in OECD countries are still swollen, although they eased to the equivalent of 60 days forward demand cover at the end of September, down from 60.9 days at the end of August.

Opec pumped more in oil in October than in September — taking its compliance with promised curbs down to 61% from 64%, the IEA said.