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BP Expects Oil Demand To Return To Pre-Crisis Level In Autumn 2022

Driven by fuel demand in Asia, oil demand worldwide is expected to rise to the levels before the pandemic in the third quarter of 2022, a senior executive at BP told Bloomberg on Tuesday.

Next year, global oil demand is set to grow by an average of 3.8 million barrels per day (bpd) compared to 2021, when the growth is estimated at 5.4 million bpd from 2020, Eugene Leong, president of BP Singapore, told Bloomberg.

BP’s estimate of when demand will be back to pre-COVID levels is somewhat more conservative than the views of some U.S. oil producers such as ConocoPhillips and Hess Corp.

Still, it is much more bullish than the estimates of many analysts from last year and early this year, including the International Energy Agency (IEA), which said in March 2021 that global oil demand would take until 2023 to return to the pre-pandemic levels of 100 million bpd.

Last year, some analysts were even wondering whether oil demand would ever be back to the levels seen in 2019.

Recovering demand, U.S. shale discipline not to spend on boosting production too much despite the much higher prices, and the ongoing crunch in global energy commodities from natural gas to coal and oil are making analysts and producers more bullish about oil consumption in the coming quarters.

The oil industry is “massively underinvesting” in supply to meet growing demand, which is set to return to pre-COVID levels as soon as the end of 2021 or early 2022, Greg Hill, president of U.S. oil producer Hess Corp, said on Monday.

Hess Corp is not the only U.S. oil producer expecting tight markets and robust demand in the short term.

Last week, ConocoPhillips’ chief executive Ryan Lance said that crude oil demand would bounce back to levels from before the Covid-19 pandemic by early 2022.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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