Global oil demand growth is expected to increase a little this year but slip in 2011, as fuel stockpiles surge and concern persists that world economic growth could falter, the International Energy Agency said on Friday, according to media reports.
Global crude demand will average 87.9 million barrels a day next year, the IEA said in its monthly Oil Market Report, unchanged from last month. It revised the 2010 estimate up by 50,000 barrels a day to 86.6 million.
But the amount of unused oil in industrialized nations neared a record high as of July. Oil stockpiles rose to the equivalent of 61.4 days of forward demand by the end of July, from 61.0 days at the end of June. And OECD industry stock levels rose by 19.0 million barrels to 2.785 billion barrels in July to near-record high levels recorded in 1998, it said.
And while stockpiles are soaring, Asian consumption slowed and concerns grow over the strength of the global economic recovery and its effect on demand. While world demand will climb 1.3 million barrels a day, or 1.5% in 2011, this is down from this year's growth of 1.9 million barrels a day, or 2.2%, the IEA said.
The high stock levels and doubts about the economy indicate that crude prices are likely to remain at the same level for some time as global oil supply is more than sufficient to meet current and expected demand. Oil prices have remained at $70 to $85 a barrel since June.