OPEC further raised its forecast for China’s oil demand growth in 2023 as the country’s COVID-19 restrictions ease, though it left the global total steady, citing possible risks to world growth.
World oil demand will rise by 2.34 million barrels per day, or 2.4%, in 2023, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said. This indicator remained unchanged compared to last month’s forecast.
While stronger demand from China could help the oil market, crude oil prices fell to record lows this week as the collapse of a Silicon Valley bank fueled expectations of a new financial crisis. OPEC cited expectations of potential downside risks to the world economy due to rising interest rates.
OPEC expects China’s oil demand to increase in 2023. Hence, OPEC crude oil output rose last month.
OPEC said its crude output rose by 117,000 barrels daily to 28.93 million in February.
Europe’s Record-Breaking Drop-In Natural Gas
European natural gas demand was at an all-time low last year.
Europe’s natural gas consumption should decline by around 12.9% in 2022, its steepest drop in absolute terms on record, the IEA said in its report. In Europe, demand fell due to higher prices amid less harsh winter weather and lower industrial demand.
Record use of solar and wind power has helped dampen gas demand, but record gas prices in the summer of 2022 have also led to lower consumption by industry and businesses.
Industrial gas consumption across Europe is set to fall by 25 billion cubic meters, or about 25%, in 2022 due to slower production and fuel switching, as energy-intensive industries responded to the effects of gas prices last year. The EU beat its target for the rate of decline in gas demand this winter, Eurostat data showed last month.
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