LONDON: OPEC has stuck with its forecast that world oil demand will exceed pre-pandemic levels in 2022, although the producer group said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and developments around the coronavirus pandemic pose a considerable risk.
In a monthly report released on Tuesday, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries maintained its forecast that world oil demand would rise by 3.36 million barrels per day in 2022, extending a recovery from 2020’s slump.
The Ukraine war sent oil briefly above $139 a barrel in March, the highest since 2008, worsening inflationary pressures. COVID-19 lockdowns in China, where a Beijing outbreak has prompted the resumption of mass testing, have curbed oil demand.
“Looking ahead, current geopolitical developments and the uncertain roll-out of the pandemic toward the end of the second half of the year continue to pose a considerable risk to the forecast recovery to pre-pandemic levels,” OPEC said in the report.
“Inflationary pressures are likely to persist and it remains highly uncertain as to when geopolitical issues may be…