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IEA Boss Warns Demand Will Plunge By 20 Million Barrels Per Day

Gas pump

Global oil demand could fall by about 20 million barrels per day, EIA’s Executive Director, Fatih Birol said in a Thursday press briefing, according to Bloomberg.

As 3 billion people in the world remain confined to their homes except to leave to get necessities, activity around the globe is falling—and oil demand along with it. Exacerbating the issue, Birol said, was the oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia.

Oil prices, which saw a brief bump on Wednesday after it became clear that the Senate would pass its $2 trillion stimulus bill that largely neglected the industry, were trading down in the afternoon. The stimulus package, while impressive, was unable to keep oil prices up in the wake of such a bleak demand outlook.  

WTI was trading just a hair above $23 per barrel, down 5.76% on the day. Brent crude was trading at $29.05, down 3.13% on the day.

Both benchmarks were down a couple of dollars per barrel from this point last week, and down nearly 50% month on month.

Oil prices have been under even more added pressure on the supply side, with Saudi Arabia and Russia moving to ramp up oil production in a mad dash to regain market share.

The oil demand revisions from various banks and analysts are coming on an almost daily basis, with each one worse than the previous.

Also this week, Goldman Sachs predicted that oil demand would sink by 18.7 million bpd in April, compared to Sachs’ estimation that March will see a drop off in demand of 10.5 million bpd. Goldman’s prediction came with another sour note: this steep demand drop-off would “overwhelm any supply response” by OPEC, such as further production cuts—indicating that it might be too late for suppliers to take any coordinated action.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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