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U.S. predicts fall in global demand for oil in ’08, ’09

Battered by the global economic crisis, world oil demand will fall in 2008 for the first time since 1983, said a U.S. government forecast.

It also predicted demand will fall again in 2009.

Global oil demand is expected to average 85.75 million barrels a day this year, down 50,000 barrels a day from a year earlier, the Energy Information Administration said. The latest projection is a downward revision of 140,000 barrels a day from the month-earlier forecast.

“The current global economic slowdown is now projected to be more severe and longer than in last month’s outlook, leading to further reduction of global energy demand and additional declines in crude oil and energy prices,” the EIA said. The agency is the statistics and analytical wing of the U.S. Department of Energy.

The EIA lowered its 2009 forecast by 630,000 barrels a day, to 85.3 million barrels a day.

It also predicted benchmark West Texas intermediate crude will average $51.17 next year, about half this year’s expected average price of $100.40 a barrel.

For all of 2009, China’s oil demand is expected to rise 3.75% to 8.3 million barrels a day, after a 5.5% rise in 2008.

— Gregory Meyer

contributed to this article.

Write to David Bird at [email protected]


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