OPEC Secretary General believes long-term demand outlook is robust

OPEC Secretary General believes long-term demand outlook is robust
# 13 February 2024 16:13 (UTC +04:00)

Saudi Arabia's decision to postpone oil capacity expansion plans should not be interpreted as an assessment that demand for crude is falling, OPEC's Secretary General said on Tuesday, APA reports citing Reuters.

"First of all I want to be clear I cannot comment on a Saudi decision ... but this is in no way to be misconstrued as a view that demand is falling," Haitham Al Ghais told Reuters in Dubai on the sidelines of the World Governments Summit.

The Saudi government on Jan. 30 ordered state oil company Aramco to lower its target for maximum sustained production capacity to 12 million barrels per day (bpd), 1 million bpd below a target announced in 2020 and set to be reached in 2027.

Saudi Arabia is the world's largest oil exporter and de-facto leader of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

OPEC raised its world oil demand forecasts for the medium and long term in its annual outlook published in October.

Its World Oil Outlook said it expects world oil demand to reach 116 million barrels a day (bpd) by 2045, around 6 million bpd higher than the previous year's report, with growth led by China, India, other Asian nations, and Africa and the Middle East.

"We stand by what was published in our latest outlook we firmly believe that it is robust," Al Ghais said.

OPEC is due to release the 2024 edition of the outlook later this year and Al Ghais said we would have to "wait and see" until September or October when it is due if numbers vary.

"But we believe now our numbers stand and are very solid numbers," he said.

Al Ghais also said he was not concerned about Angola's exit from the group, announced in December.

"It is not the first time a member exits the organization for its own considerations," he said.

We have had members leave and members join and we have had some that leave and rejoin so I'm not too concerned about that."

Angola said on Dec. 21 that it would leave OPEC, a decision that prompted a drop in oil prices at the time and that some analysts said raised questions about the unity of both OPEC and the wider OPEC+ alliance.

Al Ghais added that the country was welcome to rejoin if it wished to do so in the future.

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