The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said on Monday that demand for oil was expected to rebound above prepandemic levels next year.
In its Monthly Oil Report, the group said that it expected oil demand to average 100.8 million barrels per day in 2022, compared with just over 100 million barrels a day in 2019 before the pandemic took hold.
The forecast is evidence that the world economy is still heavily dependent on emissions-causing fossil fuels, despite growing concerns about climate change and a steep fall in oil demand during the pandemic. The news emerged just as world leaders were preparing for what many analysts predict will be a crucial climate summit, known as COP26, in Glasgow in November.
Sales of electric cars have grown strongly, and investment in wind and solar energy has held up surprisingly well during the pandemic, but the growth in demand for energy, especially in China and India, will offset such gains, according to OPEC forecasts.
China, for instance, is expected to consume almost 15 million barrels a day in oil next year, 1.5 million barrels a day more than it burned in 2019.
The pandemic slammed oil demand, which plummeted by around nine million barrels a day last year, or about 9 percent, OPEC said. Oil consumption has recovered strongly, but the emergence of the fast-spreading Delta variant has applied the brakes. Now, OPEC expects some of the recovery in oil demand previously forecast this year to be put off until 2022.
In its report OPEC, said that it was raising its demand forecast for 2022 by 900,000 barrels a day while slightly lowering its estimates for the final three months of this year. Oil consumption will grow by a hefty 4.2 million barrels a day next year after a surge of six million barrels a day in 2021, according to OPEC.
“The pace in recovery in oil demand is now assumed to be stronger and mostly taking place in 2022,” OPEC analysts wrote.