Opec: Global oil demand will be even lower next year

Jessica Morris
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The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) has cut its 2015 demand forecast (Source: Getty)

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) has slashed its demand forecast for next year.

Opec, which released its monthly report today, said demand would drop to 28.92m barrels per day in 2015, down 280,000 from its previous forecast.

It said that waning growth in global consumption, as well as the US shale gas boom was behind the move.

A glut in the global oil supply has shaved 40 per cent off the price of crude since June this year.

However, while the group would normally cut production as a means of pushing up prices, Saudi Arabia has argued against this. It wants Opec producers to maintain current levels in order to defend their market share.

Waning demand will affect each of Opec's twelve members differently.

Saudi Arabia, which can afford to live with relatively lower oil prices, is playing a political game. As our columnist John Hulsman points out here, they could have acted to stablise the price, but could be acting strategically to ward off the threat from a growing shale gas industry.

Yet Venezuela, whose foreign minister Rafael Ramirez called for Opec to cut production by 1.5m barrels per day, can only break even at $121 a barrel.

Iran appears to be the worst off needing a minimum of $136 a barrels.

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