Vienna: OPEC slightly upped its world oil demand growth forecasts for 2012 and 2013 on Thursday but warned of a possible drop again next year due to the uncertain economic situation.
For 2012, the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries predicted world oil demand at 88.72 million barrels per day (mbpd), up from the 88.68 mbpd estimate given in its previous report in July.
Demand next year was put at 89.52 mbpd, up from 89.50 mbpd last month, according to the 12-nation cartel, which pumps one third of the world's oil.
This would mean an increase of 810,000 barrels per day (bpd) from 2012, compared to a 900,000-bpd hike expected this year.
"World oil demand has overcome earlier expectations of a declining momentum and moved to a more stabilised trend, supported by the summer driving season, the summer heat and the continued shutdown of most of Japan's nuclear capacity," the cartel said in its report.
Oil demand this year was especially up in the United States, Japan and India – where massive power grid failures and severe floods have led to increased consumption – whereas it continued to fall in Europe, it noted.
In 2013 on the other hand, things looked less certain, despite OPEC's slightly higher forecast compared.
"The economic picture is vague and the horizon full of turbulence. There is much uncertainty surrounding the world's oil-use estimate in 2013," it said.
"The gloomy picture could reduce the world oil demand growth forecast by 20 percent next year," it warned.
Even this year, many of the regions that have seen a hike in demand have done so because of natural disasters or unforeseen events -- Japan's nuclear plant shutdown and India's floods -- making the outlook for the rest of the year hard to predict, OPEC added.


Latest News  from Business News Desk