As the world recovers from recession, industry worldwide is getting the ol’ bounce back in its step. And that bounce, of course, requires a hell of a lot of oil.
The Paris-based International Energy Agency is predicting that global demand for oil will increase to a record 86.6 million barrels per day (bpd) this year. The previous record was 86.5 million in 2007.
Oil consumption fell to 84 million bpd in the second quarter of 2009 and the height of the recession before demand started to pick up in Asia, the Middle East and North America.
The agency’s Oil Market Report says that while European oil refineries are operating at their lowest level in 17 years, refineries in China, India and Russia achieved record production in February. The IEA predicts that continuing high oil prices will lead to major oil-consuming nations to invest more heavily in alternative energy.
Oil prices could stifle world economic growth if they were allowed to rise too far. “Ultimately, things might turn messy for producers if $80-$100 per barrel is merely seen as the new $60-$80, stunting economic recovery while prompting resurgent non-oil and non-OPEC supply investment,” the IEA report said.