Oil demand has already exceeded 100 million bpd

Global oil demand has already passed the 100 million barrel per day (bpd) threshold last seen before the pandemic, estimates supermajor BP.

Demand will continue to rise and reach pre-COVID levels at some point in 2022, BP chief financial officer Murray Auchinclos said on a conference call on Tuesday after the release of third-quarter results.

“Somewhere next year we will be above pre-Covid levels,” Auchincloss said on the call, as worn by Bloomberg.

“OPEC+ is doing a good job of managing the balance, so we remain constructive on oil prices,” BP’s chief financial officer added during the call on BP’s third-quarter earnings, which topped analysts’ estimates.

Brent price rose 7% to average $74 a barrel in the third quarter and has moved above $80 a barrel in recent weeks, Auchincloss noted when presenting Q3 results.

“This reflects the strong rebound in oil demand as the impact of COVID subsides as well as measured increases in supply from OPEC+. As a result, inventories have returned to pre-pandemic levels. As we look to the end of the year, we expect oil prices to be supported by a continued reduction in inventories, with the potential for additional demand from the switch from gas to oil,” added the leader of BP.

BP’s view on global oil demand is broadly in line with most analyst and industry estimates that consumption will return to pre-pandemic levels as early as this quarter or early next year. .

The oil industry is “massively underinvesting” in supply to meet growing demand, which is expected to return to pre-COVID levels as soon as late 2021 or early 2022, Greg Hill, chairman of U.S. oil producer Hess Corp., said in late September.

OPEC predicts global oil demand for 2022 average of 100.8 million bpd next year, while the International Energy Agency (IEA), albeit with a more conservative estimate of 2022 demand, waits consumption at 99.6 million bpd in 2022, “slightly above pre-Covid levels”.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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