The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) predicts that global oil demand will register a record growth of seven million barrels per day (bpd), in 2021, although it will remain far below the pre-COVID-19 level.
While the oil market is still devastated by the COVID-19 crisis, gradual stabilisation is expected to begin in the second quarter of 2020, prompting cautious forecasts of renewed growth in 2021, according to OPEC’s monthly report.
It was the first report in which OPEC assessed oil markets next year. It said, the forecast assumed no further downside risks in 2021 such as US-China trade tensions, high debt levels or a second wave of coronavirus infections.
“This assumes that COVID-19 is contained, especially in major economies, allowing for recovery in private household consumption and investment, supported by the massive stimulus measures undertaken to combat the pandemic,” OPEC said.
Oil prices collapsed this year after global demand fell by a third when governments imposed lockdowns to stop the spread of the virus.
The organisation lifted estimates for demand in 2020 very slightly, by 100,000 barrels a day, projecting that consumption remains on track for a record annual slump of 8.95 million barrels a day.
In 2021, it expects efficiency gains and remote working to cap demand growth, keeping demand below record 2019 levels.
OPEC expects to have major share of the massive projected demand spike in 2021, with demand for its crude rising by 6 million bpd to reach 29.8 million bpd.