OPEC yesterday raised its forecast for global oil demand for the first quarter of 2022, but kept its full-year growth forecast unchanged, saying that the Omicron mutant from the corona virus would have little impact as the world works with the epidemic. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in its monthly report expects oil demand to average 99.13 million barrels per day in the first quarter of 2022, 1.11 million higher than last month.
“Some of the recovery expected in the fourth quarter of 2021 will occur in the first quarter of 2022, followed by a sustained recovery in the second half of 2022,” the OPEC statement said.
Furthermore, the impact of the new mutant Omigran is expected to be small and short – lived, as the world’s ability to tackle COVID – 19 and the challenges associated with it are increasing, “he added.
After a historic slump at the start of last year’s epidemics, OPEC maintained its estimate of global oil demand growth for 2021 at 5.65 million barrels.
By 2022, OPEC expects further growth in demand for 4.15 million barrels per day, unchanged from its forecast last month, which will push global consumption above 2019 levels.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC +) and its allies have begun to gradually abandon the record production cuts implemented last year. This month, OPEC + agreed to increase production to 400,000 barrels a day from January, despite concerns about the clumsy Omicron.
OPEC production rose 290,000 barrels a day in November to 27.72 million barrels a day due to increased production in Saudi Arabia and Iraq and the decline in supply disruptions from Nigeria.
Oil prices fell yesterday due to new concerns about the new mutant Omigron from the corona virus and doubts about the effectiveness of vaccines to protect against it.
Brent crude futures fell 78 cents, or 1 percent, to $ 74.37 a barrel at 1227 GMT.
US West Texas Intermediate crude was down 72 cents, or 1.0 percent, at $ 70.95 a barrel.
Both benchmarks recorded eight per cent gains last week, their first weekly gains in seven weeks, while the two crude oils recovered more than half of the losses they have suffered since the Omigron eruption on November 25. The World Health Organization (WHO) says Omigran, a corona virus found in more than 60 countries, poses a “significant global risk” with some evidence of resistance to the vaccine, but clinical data on its severity are still limited.
The University of Oxford has reported that vaccines show less efficacy in protection than Omigran. The OPEC + panel, which includes OPEC and other manufacturers, will meet on January 4 to determine production policy.
The Iraqi oil minister said on Sunday that the OPEC, at its next meeting, expects to maintain the current policy of increasing production to 400,000 barrels a day each month.
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