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Oil demand to hit 100 mbpd sooner than projected, says Barkindo

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[File] Muhammad Barkindo

The Secretary-General, Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Mohammad Barkindo, predicts that world oil consumption will reach 100 million barrels per day (bpd) later this year, hitting that level much sooner than previously forecast.

Barkindo said this while addressing an energy conference in South Africa’s Cape Town, saying a stable environment is needed to encourage oil industry investment to meet rising demand.

“The world will attain the 100 million barrels a day mark of consumption later this year, much sooner than we all earlier projected.

Therefore stabilising forces which create conditions conducive to attracting investments are essential,” he said.

“The priority is on ensuring stability is sustainable, spreading confidence in the industry, and encouraging an environment conducive to the return of investments,” he added.

OPEC with Russia and other producers have implemented a deal since January 2017 on cutting 1.8 million bpd from output to prop up prices that fell below $30 a barrel in 2016 from over $100 in 2014.

Meanwhile, African production of natural gas could contribute as much as 10 per cent of the global total by 2040, an expansion of around 530 billion cubic metres, the Secretary General, Gas-Exporting Countries Forum, Yury Sentyurin, told the conference.

Barkindo said oil industry confidence was returning and OPEC was exploring ways of institutionalising cooperation between OPEC and its non-OPEC allies on their production levels.

He also told journalists at the conference that global trade disputes could hurt energy demand in the future, but expressed the hope that the uncertainty would lift soon.

The United States President, Donald Trump’s tariff threats against China, the world’s second-biggest economic power, have caused jitters in markets across the world.

“The trade disputes that are emerging among some of the leading partners in the world will eventually hurt (global economic) growth and, by extension, demand for energy,” he said.

“But we are confident these parties will be able to overcome some of these challenges,” Barkindo said, adding that: “We are hopeful we will be able to overcome this cloud of uncertainty regarding trade as quickly as we can in order to mitigate the contagion.”

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), last month, disclosed that the decline in Nigeria’s oil production had slowed its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to 1.5 per cent in the second quarter of 2018 (Q2’18).

The GDP grew by 1.5 per cent year-on-year in real terms to N16.58 trillion in Q2 even as the average daily oil production dropped 0.03mbpd to 1.84 mbpd year-on-year from 1.87 mbpd in Q2 of 2017.

The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, commenting on the GDP report, regretted that there was a slight drop in real GDP growth rate for Q2 principally due to contraction in the oil sector.


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