Global oil demand growth has undergone a "pronounced slowdown" in the second quarter of 2014 and is likely to continue to weaken because of slower global economic growth, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Thursday.
The IEA, in its monthly Oil Market Report (OMR), forecast that oil demand would grow this year by 0.9 million barrels per day (mbpd) to 92.6 mbpd. Moreover, demand growth in 2015 is expected to be 1.2 mbpd, bringing overall world demand that year to 93.8 mbpd.
The OMR attributed the weaker trends to "further indications of slow global economic and oil-demand growth," noting particularly weaker outlook for Europe and China.
The report said that oil prices had fallen sharply in August as they were "weighed down by abundant supplies" in tandem with weaker economic growth.
Brent futures tumbled below the USD 100 per barrel level to trade at USD 98, as recently as September 8, while WTI was quoting at USD 91.40, prices not seen in over a year.
Global supply was nonetheless down 400,000 b/d on average in August to reach 92.9 mbpd, mostly due to lower non-OPEC production drops.
But overall supply levels are still 810,000 b/d higher than levels recorded a year ago.
Non-OPEC supply this year is forecast to rise by 1.6 mbpd and a further 1.3 mbpd to reach 57.6 mbpd in 2015.
Meanwhile, OPEC output fell by 130,000 b/d to 30.31 mbpd in August, due to lower supply from Saudi Arabia, which offset higher output from Libya.
Industry stocks in the developed countries' OECD area rose a seasonal 15.5 million barrels in July, bringing total stocks to 2.67 billion barrels and preliminary data show stockbuild continued in August at a rate of 19.5 million barrels.