The U.S. Energy Information Administration on Tuesday lowered its forecast for global oil demand next year, indicating a weaker recovery from leading consumers, such as the United States.
World oil consumption in 2010 is now expected to increase 1.1 million barrels per day to 85.22 million barrels per day. Last month, the agency thought global petroleum consumption would grow 1.26 million barrels per day to 85.40 million barrels per day.
While demand will be lower than previously expected, the EIA sees bigger petroleum supplies available in the market.
The agency raised its forecast for OPEC crude oil production next year to 29.59 million barrels per day from its prior estimate of 29.44 million barrels per day due to an expected rebound in global oil demand.
"EIA's expectation is that OPEC crude oil output in 2010 will hold at roughly fourth quarter 2009 levels of under 30 million (barrels per day)," the agency said.
The EIA also slightly raised its projection for oil output from non-OPEC countries in 2010 to 50.45 million barrels per day from its previous forecast of 50.43 million barrels per day.
"Non-OPEC oil production increases have been largely the result of higher production from the United States, Brazil and the former Soviet Union," the agency said. "Oil production in Colombia has also been surprisingly strong."
The EIA said it expects the price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil to average $76 a barrel this winter, down $1 from its prior forecast. The WTI price is projected to average $82 by end of next year, up $1 from the agency's previous estimate.
The EIA will release its first supply and demand forecast for 2011 in its next monthly energy outlook that will be released Jan. 12.
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