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Wood Mac Shaves 1 Million BPD off Global Oil Demand Forecast

Wood Mackenzie has revised its global oil demand forecast downward by 1 million barrels per day to 1.9 million bpd for 2024, with the biggest increases in demand coming from China and India. Citing a Wood Mac briefing during an Energy Institute conference in London, Reuters reported on Thursday that Wood Mac’s VP of oils research, Alan Gelder, was largely in line with OPEC own estimates for this year. 

In January, Wood Mac said it expected global oil demand growth to continue to set records this year, up nearly 2 million bpd compared to 2023, with China expected to account for 25% of that growth. At that time, Wood Mac said it expected total global oil demand to average 103.5 million bpd for 2024, with much of that growth coming in the second half of the year. OPEC is expecting demand growth of 2.25 million bpd. The International Energy Agency (IEA) is expected growth of only 1.22 million bpd, with a peak by 2030. 

On Wednesday, Vitol Group, the largest independent trader in the world, told the same London energy conference that oil demand “had a good few number of years still to climb … before it plateaus” because the energy transition is proceeding at a slower pace than initially anticipated. 

Oil prices were holding steady on Thursday, with supply trumping geopolitical risk in the Middle East as January inflation data for the United States suggested that there was still room for an interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve in June. The U.S. Personal Consumption Expenditures (excluding energy and food) price index rose 0.3% in January, while the core inflation (including energy and food) rose 0.4%. The numbers potentially signal an end to cooling prices, which in turn could prompt the Fed to cut interest rates quicker. 

On Thursday at 11:48 a.m. ET, Brent crude was inching up a slight 0.06%, trading at $83.73, while West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was up 0.47%, trading at $78.91. 

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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  • Mamdouh Salameh on March 01 2024 said:
    The only credible projection of global oil demand in 2024 is OPEC's which projects a demand growth of 2.2 million barrels a day (mbd) lifting demand from 103.4 mbd in 2023 to 105.6 mbd
    in 2024 compared with Wood Mac's demand growth of 1.9 mbd and the IEA's 1.22 mbd.

    Unlike projections by analysts, investment banks and the IEA whose projections are mostly politically-motivated and leaning towards Western interests, OPEC has a history of accurate projections based on its its market experience and objective reading of trends in the market.

    In January 2023 OPEC projected global demand growth of 2.3 mbd in 2023 and was proven absolutely spot on.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Global Energy Expert

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