World Oil Demand May Hit All-Time High Before December, OPEC Warns

The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) on Tuesday warned that global demand for oil may hit an all-time high before December, 2011.

OPEC, a renowned cartel, which controls over 40 per cent of oil deposit in the world, stated this in a forecast on its website.

Nigeria, Africa’s biggest oil exporter is a prominent member of the organisation.

The country, which exports over one million barrels of crude to the United States, depends largely on proceeds from crude sales to service over 85 per cent of its budget.

“The global oil demand will be the highest ever this year,” the organnisation said, adding that although the “unsteady” global economy may slow demand more than previously thought.

Benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude for August delivery rose 45 cents to $95.58 per barrel in morning trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Brent crude, which is used to price many international oil varieties, fell 54 cents to $116.70 per barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.

Analysts and investors pay special attention to world demand forecasts.

The expectation that China and other developing nations will keep using more crude has supported prices this year despite weak gasoline consumption in the U.S., and a festering credit crisis in Europe that has raised concerns about international demand for oil.

While OPEC thinks global demand will continue to increase this year to the highest levels ever, the monthly report released on Tuesday indicated that demand won’t grow as much as it previously expected.

The cartel said daily world consumption will increase this year by 1.36 million barrels, down from a previous estimate of 1.38 million barrels, to an average 88.18 million barrels.

OPEC said it cut demand expectations “as the unsteady global economy has added risks to the forecast.” The report also said it’s hard to estimate how much oil the US will consume this year.