Daily Trust (Abuja)

Nigeria: Economic Downturn Taking Toll On Oil Demand - OPEC

Oil producing group OPEC cut its global oil demand growth forecast for a fourth consecutive month on Tuesday. It cited economic downturn in developed countries and efforts by China and India to curb fuel consumption.

"The economic downturn is taking its toll on the world oil demand," OPEC said in its monthly report.

"The decelerating U.S. economy, high unemployment rate and feelings of uncertainty among consumers, has damped U.S. oil demand. Similarly, debt problems in the euro zone are causing EU economies to lose some of their estimated growth this year."

The OPEC cut its forecast of global oil demand growth this year by 180,000 barrels per day (bpd) -- enough to feed a medium sized refinery.

OPEC, which pumps a third of the world's oil, now sees 2011 demand growing by just 0.88 million bpd to 87.81 million bpd.

It is the first time this year that OPEC has cut its oil demand growth estimate to below one million bpd.

Next year, it sees oil demand growing slightly faster -- by 1.19 million bpd, down 70,000 bpd from its previous estimate in September NAN

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