OPEC has cut its forecast for global oil demand growth next year because of a worsening economic outlook and said that disappointing economic performance in America, the top consumer, could further weigh on fuel use.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, in a monthly report yesterday, also said concerns were easing about a tight oil supply and demand balance and that it expected Libyan oil output to return to full capacity in less than 18 months, more quickly than some estimates.
“The weaker economic recovery is negatively impacting oil demand,” OPEC said. “Looking ahead, the perception of market tightness and worries of supply shortages in the fourth quarter appear to be easing.”
Deepening concerns over Europe’s sovereign debt crisis and slowing global growth are weighing on oil prices, which yesterday were trading around $111 a barrel, some $16 below the 2011 high reached in April.