Oil market supply ample as Europe demand weak-IEA

LONDON Wed Dec 12, 2012 4:00am EST

LONDON Dec 12 (Reuters) - Global oil demand will be sluggish throughout 2013 as economic expansion remains tepid, the West's main energy agency said on Wednesday, predicting comfortable oil supply levels, which could alleviate oil price pressure on consumers.

The International Energy Agency (IEA), which advises industrialised nations on energy policy, said European oil demand had plummeted in recent months, contracting at its steepest rate since the onset of the 2008/09 crisis due to a weak economy and high oil product prices.

The contraction in European demand would moderate but only slowly through next year.

"Global demand growth is expected to stay relatively sluggish through 2013, based on the continued assumption of tepid global economic expansion," the IEA said in its monthly report.

The agency forecast global oil demand growth for 2013 at 865,000 barrels per day (bpd), 110,000 bpd higher than in its previous report, taking consumption up to an average of 90.52 million bpd.

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