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The world is about to hit the historic milestone of consuming more than 100 million barrels of oil per day, Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Group CEO of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), said in a speech at the Saudi investment forum, echoing the prediction of OPEC’s head that global oil consumption would reach the 100-million-bpd mark sooner than projected.
“The global oil industry is about to break the historic milestone of consuming more than 100 million barrels of oil per day. And by 2040, we forecast that global consumption will climb by another 10 million per day, demonstrating that demand for hydrocarbons continues to gain strength amidst major market expansions and a rising global GDP,” Al Jaber said at the Future Investment Initiative Conference in Riyadh, which was shunned by many investors, bankers, and analysts over the killing of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
Like many other oil officials from the Middle East, Al Jaber affirmed that “The era of oil and gas is far from over,” pointing to the expected exponential growth in petrochemicals which will be the single biggest oil demand growth driver by 2050.
“Not only is petrochemical growth quickly becoming the biggest driver of oil demand, but we expect the market for natural gas to grow 40 percent by 2040,” Al Jaber said.
In early September, OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo said that the world would hit the 100 million bpd level of consumption in the fourth quarter this year, “much sooner than projected.”
Yet, OPEC has been trimming its oil demand growth forecasts in recent months.
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Earlier this month, Barkindo told the crowd at an energy forum in India that OPEC’s latest Monthly Oil Market Report acknowledged that “While the global economic growth remains solid, it faces potential headwinds.”
In the report, OPEC revised down its oil demand growth estimates for this year and next—for the third time in three consecutive months—citing potential headwinds to global economic growth ranging from trade disputes to weakening finances in emerging markets and geopolitical challenges. OPEC now expects global oil demand to grow by 1.36 million bpd in 2019, a downward revision of 50,000 bpd from the September report. Global oil demand will average 100.15 million bpd next year, according to OPEC’s latest projection. For this year, the cartel cut its global oil demand growth estimate to 1.54 million bpd, down by 80,000 bpd from the forecast in last month’s report.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.