COVID-19 Delta variant clouding world oil demand prospects

The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) says world oil demand prospects going into the last quarter of 2021 is being clouded by increased risk of the COVID-19 Delta variant.

OPEC made this known in its Oil Market Report for September 2021 which was obtained on Monday in Lagos.

The report said that world oil demand growth in 2021 remained unchanged from the August assessment, showing growth of 6.0 million barrels per day despite some offsetting revisions.

It said : “Oil demand in the Third Quarter of 2021 (3Q21) has proved to be resilient, supported by rising mobility and travelling activities, particularly in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

“At the same time, the increased risk of COVID-19 cases primarily fuelled by the Delta variant is clouding oil demand prospects going into the final quarter of the year, resulting in downward adjustments to 4Q21 estimates.

”As a result, second half of 2021 oil demand has been adjusted slightly lower, partially delaying the oil demand recovery into the first half of 2022.”

According to the report, global oil demand in 2021 is now estimated to average 96.7 million barrels per day .
It added that in 2022, oil demand is expected to robustly grow by around 4.2 million barrels per day some 0.9 mb/d higher compared to last months assessment.

“Revisions were driven by both the OECD and non-OECD, as the recovery in various fuels is expected to be stronger than anticipated and further supported by a steady economic outlook in all regions.

“Oil demand in 2022 is now projected to reach 100.8 mb/d, exceeding pre-pandemic levels,” the report said. 

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