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Por Alex Lawler
LONDON, Nov 11 (Reuters) – OPEC cut its forecast for global oil demand for the final quarter of 2021 on Thursday, due to high energy prices slowing the economic recovery from COVID-19, although it maintained its forecast of robust growth above pre-pandemic rates in 2022.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) also raised its forecast for US shale supplies next year in its monthly report, a potential obstacle to efforts by the group and its allies to balance the market.
OPEC said it expects oil demand to average 99.49 million barrels per day (bpd) in the fourth quarter of 2021, 330,000 bpd less than last month’s forecast. The expected growth in demand for the year was reduced by 160,000 bpd, to 5.65 million bpd.
“A slowdown in the pace of recovery in the fourth quarter of 2021 is now assumed due to high energy prices,” OPEC said in the report. The group also referred to slower-than-expected demand in China and India for downward revision.
Governments, companies and operators are closely monitoring the speed with which oil demand recovers from last year’s crisis.
The changes imply that global consumption is expected to surpass the 100 million bpd mark in the third quarter of 2022 in OPEC’s view, three months later than forecast last month.
Oil prices have soared this year to a three-year high above $ 86 a barrel as OPEC and its allies, known as OPEC +, gradually increase supplies and demand recovers from the pandemic. Natural gas and coal prices have also skyrocketed.
OPEC also stated that it expects global oil demand growth of 4.15 million bpd next year, unchanged from last month, pushing world consumption above 2019 levels. (Edited in Spanish by Janisse Huambachano and Carlos Serrano)