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Oil, gas markets outlook still uncertain despite recovery: IEA

06-24-2010 11:40 BJT

PARIS, June 23 (Xinhua) -- The Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA) said Wednesday the outlook for oil and gas markets was uncertain due to the varied pace of recovery between emerging and developed nations.

"Oil and gas markets are starting to show signs of recovery, but the impact of the recession differs across regions, and the outlook remains very uncertain," IEA Executive Director Nobuo Tanaka said in launching a report, Medium-term Oil and Gas Markets 2010.

Tanaka said there was "a notable dichotomy between non-OECD and OECD markets" both in oil and gas, as strong growth in China, India and the Middle East contrasted with "weaker or flat demand elsewhere, especially in the fragile European economy."

The agency recommended all governments consider more investment and a greater focus on energy efficiency and a diversified transport sector. It warned of a very tight global oil supply ahead, as an inefficient and growing transport sector drove ongoing demand growth.

According to the IEA, for the next five years, if global gross domestic product grows at nearly 4.5 percent per year, as the International Monetary Fund projected recently, oil demand will rise by an average of 1.2 million barrels per day (mb/d) annually, or 1.4 percent year-on-year, reaching close to 92 mb/d by 2015. Under a GDP growth rate of 3 percent, oil demand may increase around 1 percent, taking global demand to 90 mb/d by 2015.

Under the favorable scenario of higher growth rate, the IEA anticipated "a tightening global balance, with surplus capacity falling below 5 percent of global demand," leading to more strained markets ahead. Oil demand could recover to pre-crisis 2007 levels by 2010, it said.

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