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OPEC Secretary General Sees Oil Prices Staying High

Rising global demand for energy and oil is set to keep crude oil prices elevated, OPEC’s Secretary General Haitham Al Ghais told the BBC in an interview published on Tuesday.

Oil demand is expected to rise by around 2.4 million barrels per day (bpd) this year compared to 2022, and by another 2 million bpd next year, Al Ghais said.

“For next year we see demand continuing to grow north of 2 million barrels a day - of course, all subject to some of the uncertainties in the global market,” said the top official of OPEC, whose members are currently cutting supply to the market under the OPEC+ agreement. 

Asked if $100 oil could stoke inflation once again, Al Ghais told the BBC that it was “important not to look at things in a short-sighted manner.”

The supply cuts from OPEC+, including Saudi Arabia’s 1-million-bpd extra cut, have tightened the oil market in recent weeks and sent oil prices to as high as $95 per barrel Brent last week—the highest level so far this year.

This week, oil prices have tumbled due to the rising U.S. dollar and concerns about higher-for-longer interest rates.

OPEC is more concerned about the underinvestment in the oil sector, Al Ghais told the BBC, adding that the calls for a halt in investments are dangerous.

Earlier this year, Ghais said that global primary energy demand is expected to surge by 23% by 2045 and that all sources will be needed to meet the demand growth.

OPEC’s outlook for 2045 sees global oil demand rising to 110 million bpd, with oil still representing about 29% of the energy mix.

Investments in the oil industry alone need to be $500 billion each year between now and 2045, for a cumulative $12.1 trillion through 2045, Al Ghais said in June.

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Last month, OPEC rebuked the International Energy Agency (IEA) for claiming that oil and gas demand would peak this decade and for calling the “beginning of the end of fossil fuels.”    

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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