San Francisco Chronicle

Cartel predicts rising demand


The Organizati­on of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said Monday that demand for oil is expected to rebound above pre-pandemic levels next year.

In its Monthly Oil Report, the group said it expected oil demand to average 100.8 million barrels per day in 2022, compared with just over 100 million barrels a day in 2019 before the pandemic took hold.

The forecast is evidence that the world economy is still heavily dependent on emissions-causing fossil fuels, despite growing concerns about climate change and a steep fall in oil demand during the pandemic. The news emerged just as world leaders are preparing for what many analysts predict will be a crucial climate summit, known as COP26, in Glasgow in November.

Sales of electric cars have grown strongly, and investment in wind and solar energy has held up surprising­ly well during the pandemic, but the growth in demand for energy, especially in China and India, will offset such gains, according to OPEC forecasts.

China, for instance, is expected to consume almost 15 million barrels a day in oil next year, 1.5 million barrels a day more than it burned in 2019.

The pandemic slammed oil demand, which plummeted by around 9 million barrels a day last year, or about 9%, OPEC said. Oil consumptio­n has recovered strongly, but the emergence of the fast-spreading delta variant has applied the brakes. Now, OPEC expects some of the recovery in oil demand previously forecast this year to be put off until 2022.

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