Financial Express - 19/4/2006
Opec, which pumps 40% of the world’s oil, said risks to the world economy pose the biggest threat to growth in demand and kept its forecast for this year’s overall crude consumption unchanged. Demand will average 84.5 million barrels a day this year, the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries said on Tuesday in a monthly report. Oil consumption will increase 1.7% this year, it said.
Rising interest rates and other economic uncertainties could have an adverse impact on oil-demand growth, particularly in the developing countries,’’ the Opec Secretariat in Vienna said in the e-mailed report. ‘‘Over a longer time horizon, the uncertainties only intensify, complicating the planning for appropriate and timely investments in Opec countries.’’
Crude oil futures traded in New York on Tuesday rose as high as $70.88 a barrel, breaking the previous record of $70.85 a barrel set on Aug. 30, after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf of Mexico. Oil has climbed amid mounting concern conflict surrounding Iran’s nuclear program may lead to a disruption of supplies from the world’s fourth-largest producer. Opec officials will meet with energy ministers from the world’s biggest consuming nations, including the US, China and Japan, and executives from the world’s largest oil companies.