March 5, 2020 / 4:27 PM / 25 days ago

Coronavirus to more than halve forecast for oil demand growth this year - Rystad Energy

OSLO (Reuters) - The coronavirus outbreak will cut growth in global oil demand by more than half this year compared to earlier forecasts, Norway’s biggest independent energy consultancy Rystad Energy predicted on Thursday.

Oslo-based Rystad now predicts global oil demand will grow by 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2020, down from a February forecast of 820,000 barrels per day (bpd) and a December view of 1.1 million bpd.

“This is assuming that the Covid-19 epidemic will largely be contained by the end of June,” Rystad Energy said in a statement.

OPEC agreed on Thursday to cut oil output by an extra 1.5 million bpd in the second quarter of 2020 to support prices that have been hit by the coronavirus outbreak, but made its action conditional on Russia and others joining in.

In Rystad Energy’s view, this is unlikely to result in cuts in production sufficient enough to balance the market given that global oil stocks are increasing by the day.

Reporting by Gwladys Fouche;Editing by Elaine Hardcastle

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