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BP CEO: Strong Oil Demand Growth Is Here To Stay

Global oil demand is set to rebound and remain robust for some time, BP’s chief executive Bernard Looney told Bloomberg News on the sidelines of an economic forum in Russia, reiterating views expressed by most forecasters and analysts.

“There is a lot of evidence that suggests that demand will be strong, and the shale seems to be remaining disciplined,” Looney told Bloomberg News at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. “I think that the situation we’re in at the moment could last like this for a while,” the top executive of one of the world’s largest oil companies said.

Looney’s assessment of the oil market is similar to the views recently expressed by investment banks such as Goldman Sachs and Barclays, as well as OPEC and the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Goldman Sachs continues to see oil hitting $80 this year, despite the possible return of Iranian oil to the market.

Barclays, for its part, said two weeks ago that global oil demand was recovering with major economies reopening amid a cautious supply approach from OPEC+ and restraint in U.S. shale.

The most recent estimates from OPEC and the IEA – ahead of their respective monthly reports this week – is that oil demand globally is expected to return to pre-COVID levels within a year. 

“Demand in one year or so may well come back to the levels of before the crisis,” the IEA’s Executive Director Fatih Birol told Bloomberg last week, noting the strong demand in the United States, Europe, and China.  

OPEC+ affirmed last week previous estimates that oil demand is set to grow by 6 million bpd to average 96.5 million bpd this year. 

“In fact, we anticipate that demand will surpass 99 mb/d in the fourth quarter, which would put us back in the range of pre-pandemic levels,” OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo said. 

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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