LONDON (Reuters) – World oil consumption will top 100 million barrels per day in the next three months, tightening the market and putting pressure on prices, but emerging market crises and trade disputes could dent demand, the International Energy Agency said on Thursday.
The Paris-based IEA maintained its forecast of strong growth in global oil demand this year of 1.4 million barrels per day (bpd) and another 1.5 million bpd in 2019, unchanged from its previous projection.
“Things are tightening up,” the agency said in its monthly report. “The price range for Brent <LCOc1> of $70-$80 per barrel in place since April could be tested.”
The imposition of U.S. sanctions on Iran’s energy sector have already cut supply to two-year lows, while the decline in Venezuelan output from spiralling economic crisis, as well as unplanned outages elsewhere will keep the balance between supply and demand tight, the IEA said.
Global demand will hit a high of 100.3 million bpd in the final quarter of this year, before moderating to 99.3 million bpd in the first quarter of next year, the agency said.
“As we move into 2019, a possible risk to our forecast lies in some key emerging economies, partly due to currency depreciations versus the U.S. dollar raising the cost of imported energy. In addition, there is a risk to growth from an escalation of trade disputes,” the agency said.
(Reporting by Amanda Cooper; editing by Jason Neely)