The International Energy Agency’s has forecast lower-than-expected demand for oil next year by about 160,000 barrels, citing slower economic growth in the US and Europe.
It predicted demand of 88.02m barrels a day next year, down from the 88.16m it forecast last month, and also forecast falling demand in the final quarter of this year, to 85.92m barrels a day.
The news did not stop the price of oil briefly passing $80 a barrel for the first time. The benchmark price of crude oil rose to $80.18 but later pulled back to settle at $79.91, up $1.68, in trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Industry observers say that while prices will fluctuate daily, the long-term price has only one direction. “In the last few years we seen peaks and valleys, but generally it’s on the way up,” said Bruce Bullock, director of the Maguire Energy Institute at Southern Methodist University in the US. “The market believes that growth in demand is going to continue to outpace growth in supply”.