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Oil Demand to Grow With 'Two Speed' Outlook: IEA

Global oil demand will grow in 2012 despite a weak economic environment, the International Energy Agency said in a new report, but a “two-speed” outlook prevails, with robust oil demand in emerging economies and falling demand in developed economies.

“Non?OECD oil demand will rise by 1.2 million barrels per day (2.8 percent) in 2012, more than offsetting the reduction in OECD consumption of 0.4 million barrels per day (0.8 percent), mimicking the demand trends seen in 2011,” the IEA said in its February Oil Market Report.

The organization expects global oil demand to climb to 89.9 million barrels per day in 2012, a gain of 0.8 million barrels per day (or 0.9 percent) year-on-year.

That figure was a drop from a gain of 1.1 million barrels per day forecast in the IEA's January report however.

“Perceptions of impending supply issues are clearly placing a floor under oil prices for now,” the IEA said, pointing to the potential effect of international sanctions on Iranian crude supplies.

According to the IEA, the most recent data suggest a global demand contraction of 5,000 barrels per day in the fourth quarter of 2011 year?on?year, the first such drop since the global credit crunch.

Demand from Europe saw the steepest year-on?year fall the fourth quarter of last year, with demand 690,000 barrels per day lower due to weaker economic activity and mild weather.

North American demand was 530,000 barrels per day less than a year ago.

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