15 February 2018, Sweetcrude, Lagos —Secretary-General of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Companies, OPEC, Mohammed Barkindo has said demand for oil will grow in 2018 compared to that of 2017.
Barkindo said at the eighth annual IEA-IEF-OPEC Symposium on Energy Outlooks occurring in Riyadh on Wednesday.
According to the OPEC chief, this year’s increase will be at “healthy levels”, adding that available data pointed to continued high compliance by producers in January with their pledges under the supply cut deal.
OPEC in its Monthly Oil Market Report, MOMR for February had said in 2018, world oil demand is foreseen to reach 98.60 million barrels per day, mb/d, representing growth of 1.59 mb/d, 60 thousand barrel per day, tb/d higher than the previous month’s projections and mainly reflecting the positive economic outlook.
World oil demand growth in 2017 was estimated to increase by 1.60 mb/d, representing an upward adjustment of some 30 tb/d compared to last month’s projections, mainly to reflect the continuing better-than-expected data in Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, OECD Europe in 3Q17.
Total world oil demand stood at 97.01 mb/d in 2017.
Also speaking at the conference was Saudi Arabia’s energy minister and outgoing president of OPEC, Khalid Al-Falih, and Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak.
Speaking, Al-Falih disclosed that Saudi Arabia plans to double its natural gas production to 23 billion cubic feet by 2028.
“When it comes to natural gas, over the next decade we are going to be roughly doubling our production to 23 billion cubic feet per day and substantially increasing the percentage of natural gas in the Kingdom’s fuel mix, displacing liquids and therefore reducing carbon (emissions),” Khalid Al-Falih said at the eighth annual IEA-IEF-OPEC Symposium on Energy Outlooks occurring in Riyadh.
Natural gas is considered a “green” fuel because burning it releases less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than coal or oil.
On industry’s concerns regarding the future of the OPEC-led pact to reduce global oil output by 1.8 million barrels per day through the end of the year, Al-Falih assured that his country is committed to the deal.
“Market volatility is a common concern for producers and consumers, and the Kingdom is committed to mitigating this volatility and moderating its negative impacts by responsibly meeting its pledges” under the deal. “I am confident that our high degree of cooperation and coordination will continue and bring the desired results,” Al-Falih told the industry conference, with an audience of Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak and OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo.
According to OPEC’s latest production figures released earlier this week, Saudi Arabia lifted its January production by 23,300 bpd to 9.977 million bpd however still below its 10.058-million-b/d quota.
Oil price fell from $70 per barrel in early January to $62 per barrel in recent weeks has raised concern about the market volatility of future downturn in oil price.
However, Al-Falih said the country would do “whatever it takes” to bring global inventories back to balance.