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IEA at odds with Opec over oil demand growth

IEA executive director Fatih Birol. The energy watchdog cut its 2024 expansion forecast to 1.2m bpd in 2024, compared with 2.3m bpd last year Ole Berg-Rusten/NTB/via Reuters
IEA executive director Fatih Birol. The energy watchdog cut its 2024 expansion forecast to 1.2m bpd in 2024, compared with 2.3m bpd last year
  • Momentum easing, says watchdog
  • 2024 forecast set at 1.2m bpd
  • Sharp contrast with Opec figures

Global oil market balances tightened in January but crude demand growth is losing momentum, the International Energy Agency said.

The industrialised world’s energy watchdog cut its 2024 expansion forecast on Thursday to 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2024, compared with 2.3 million bpd last year.

The IEA noted in its monthly report a sharp drop in Chinese consumption in the last quarter of 2023, which underpinned an 830,000 bpd reduction in global oil demand.

Its forecast is in contrast to Opec’s estimates published earlier this week. 

Opec stuck to its previous oil demand growth forecast at 2.25 million bpd for 2024.

“The expansive post-pandemic growth phase in global oil demand has largely run its course,” said the IEA in its report.

Crude traded flat on Friday at around $82 a barrel.

The IEA expects global crude demand to peak soon as use of electric vehicles and renewables grows.

Some other analysts, Opec and energy companies do not share the IEA’s point of view.

Opec secretary general Haitham Al Ghais said this week: “Oil and gas will continue to be a major component of the energy pie that will continue to grow in future years after 2045.”

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