Report: Global Oil Demand Grows More Slowly

Posted January 18th, 2012 at 6:40 am (UTC-5)
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The International Energy Agency says a slowing global economy means demand for oil will not grow as much as earlier thought.

In Wednesday's report, IEA experts say demand for crude oil fell 300,000 barrels a day in the last few months of 2011, the first such drop since 2009, during the financial crisis.

The agency says world-wide demand for oil was 89.5 million barrels a day last year, and will grow by just 1.1 million barrels a day in 2012. That is 200,000 barrels a day less growth in demand than earlier predictions.

Falling demand tends to lower prices, but the IEA says rising tensions with Iran might cut oil supplies enough to cause a shortfall and boost prices.

Iran is a major oil exporter and it is locked in a dispute with Washington and European nations over its alleged program to build nuclear weapons. Iran has threatened to cut off a major oil exporting route, while Western nations are threatening to stop doing business with Iran.