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OPEC Forecasts Sluggish Oil Market In Q4 2021 Amid COVID-19 Risks

The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has predicted a sluggish international oil market with world oil demand prospects looking promising as the COVID-19 Delta variant will distort performance of the oil sector in the last quarter of this year.

OPEC made this disclosure in its just published Oil Market Report for September 2021

In the report, the global biggest oil cartel that world oil demand growth in 2021 remained unchanged from the August assessment, reflecting a growth of 6.0 million barrels per day

OPEC clarified: “Oil demand in the Third Quarter of 2021 (3Q21) has proved to be resilient, supported by rising mobility and travelling activities, particularly in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

“At the same time, the increased risk of COVID-19 cases primarily fuelled by the Delta variant is clouding oil demand prospects going into the final quarter of the year, resulting in downward adjustments to 4Q21 estimates.

”As a result, second half of 2021 oil demand has been adjusted slightly lower, partially delaying the oil demand recovery into the first half of 2022.”

The report further indicated that global oil demand in 2021 had now been estimated to average 96.7 million barrels per day, adding that in 2022 the demand is expected to robustly grow by around 4.2 million barrels per day, representing about 0.9 mb/d higher compared to August’s assessment.

The cartel attributed the factors that contributed to its oil market revisions to both the OECD and non-OECD, as the recovery in various fuels is expected to be stronger than anticipated and further supported by a steady economic outlook in all regions.

On the 2022 demand prospects, OPEC further projected that “oil demand in 2022 is now projected to reach 100.8 mb/d, exceeding pre-pandemic levels.”

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