By Florence Tan
SINGAPORE (Reuters) – World oil demand will peak at 104.4 million barrels per day (bpd) in the mid-2030s, up from just below 100 million bpd currently, as new technologies gradually eat into oil use, China’s Unipec said on Monday.
Speaking at the annual Asia Pacific Petroleum Conference (APPEC) in Singapore on Monday, Unipec President Chen Bo said improved energy efficiency and technological changes, including the rise of renewables, meant global oil demand growth would slow in coming years and peak at 104.4 million bpd in 2035.
Despite trade disputes between China and the United States, he said, U.S. crude supply was an important new source for Chinese refiners as it allows diversification away from Middle East and African crudes, on which China has relied heavily.
Trade war tensions between the United States and China will last just “for the time being, and in the future we’ll be active in this area,” he said.
Chen Bo also said China would reduce Iranian oil imports because of looming U.S. sanctions against the Middle East country due to start in November, although he added that there had not yet been a decision on how big these cuts would be.
Given the current supply and demand dynamic in global markets, he said, crude oil prices between at $60 and $80 per barrel were normal.
(Reporting by Florence Tan; Writing by Henning Gloystein; Editing by Tom Hogue)