Opec has announced that global energy demand is growing faster than predicted, according to Reuters. Opec are now forecasting that global demand will increase by 1.09 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2014, up around 40,000 bpd from previous estimates.
Opec has become the second major forecaster to revise its estimates this week, after the US’s Energy Information Administration revised its estimates for 2014 by a similar amount.
While the bulk of the growth in global oil demand continues to come from China and the Middle East, Opec was more upbeat about the prospects for further fuel use this year in established economies.
Opec sees a contraction in European demand - in the doldrums for years due to recession - easing in 2014, and said preliminary figures for December 2013 and January 2014 indicated strong demand in top consumer the United States.
According to secondary sources cited by the report, Opec raised its own output to 29.71 million bpd in January, as a partial recovery in Libyan shipments - disrupted for months by unrest - was offset by cutbacks in top exporter Saudi Arabia.
But the stronger global demand outlook is not translating yet into higher demand for Opec oil, as rising supplies including of U.S. shale oil are eroding its market share in 2014.
Opec raised its estimate of the amount of crude non-member countries are expected to produce this year to 54.14 million bpd, up about 50,000 bpd from the previous estimate.
As a result, Opec expects demand for the crude pumped by its 12 members to average 29.60 million bpd, virtually unchanged and suggesting inventories will build up should the group keep pumping at January's rate.
Another closely watched oil demand forecast is due on Thursday from the International Energy Agency, adviser to industrialised countries.