Oil prices are on the rise on signs that demand could be recovering particularly in the US, the world’s largest energy consumer.
Reserves of crude fell there last week by a massive six million barrels as a slowdown in oil imports ate away at inventories. And the Department of Energy in Washington has raised its forecast for global demand for the first time since last September. US light crude has been up close to $72 dollars a barrel for the first time in seven months. Brent reached a high of $70.57 on Wednesday. That reflects investors hopes for an economic recovery which should boost oil demand and output cuts by OPEC. Global oil consumption fell by 420,000 barrels per day last year according to British Petroleum’s latest annual Statistical Review of World Energy. That is the biggest decline since 1982. Emerging economies, notably China, increased their oil use while the developed world used much less. BP also said proven reserves of oil and natural gas dropped last year for the first time in just over a decade.