Vienna (DPA) – The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries on Monday left its prognosis for crude demands largely unchanged, predicting in its monthly report a slight increase by 1.3 million barrels per day (bpd) to 87.1 million bpd for 2008.
Demand forecasts for 2007 remained equally stable, increasing by 1.5 per cent or 1.3 million bpd. High petrol prices and bad weather dampened demand in OECD countries in the third quarter, OPEC said.
The third quarter, after the end of the summer driving season, is traditionally a weak season for oil demand in OECD countries.
Oil demand rose in September in the Middle East, China and India. OPEC’s fourth quarter forecasts predict strong demand for the winter season, with an average demand growth of 1.8 million bpd to average 87.1 million bpd.
OPEC stressed that recent financial turmoil and economic data were having a strong impact on short-term oil prices. Continued high prices could be explained partly by fears damage to oil installations in the Mexican gulf by hurricane activity, refinery outages in the United States and “increasing geopolitical concerns in various regions,” OPEC said.
September’s OPEC crude production rose to 30.6 million bpd, an increase by 245,300 barrels compared to the same period last year, largely due to a significant increase in production in Iraq.
Prices for OPEC crude reached a new record with 77.46 dollars per barrel (159 litres) on Friday, OPEC said. Prices for US light sweet crudes rose to 84.22 dollars on Monday.