Oil Demand To Top Pre-Pandemic Level Next Year — OPEC

(AFP) — OPEC said Monday that it expects global oil demand to exceed its pre-pandemic level next year thanks to the roll out of vaccines and economic rebound.

“As vaccination rates rise, the Covid-19 pandemic is expected to be better managed and economic activities and mobility will firmly return to pre-COVID-19 levels,” the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said in its monthly report on the oil market.

As economic activity ramps up OPEC expects global oil demand to grow by 4.2 million barrels per day (mbd) on average next year.

That is 0.9 mbd higher than its estimate last month, and takes global oil demand to 100.83 mbd on average next year, which is above the pre-pandemic levels.

The optimistic forecast comes as the OPEC cartel nations and their allies, together known as OPEC+, are beginning to raise output to meet recovering demand.

OPEC+ nations slashed production last year to boost prices, which tumbled at the outset of the pandemic as economic activity was disrupted by lockdown measures.

The report, citing secondary sources, said OPEC’s output rose by 151,000 barrels per day during August to hit 26.76 mbd.

Big producers like Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Iraq scaled up production, while it fell in Nigeria.