OPEC: High oil prices could dampen demand later this year
VIENNA - The OPEC oil cartel on Friday upgraded only slightly its 2011 world oil demand growth estimate, saying high prices could dampen demand later this year.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said it was pencilling in world oil demand growth of 1.44 million barrels per day (bpd), or 1.67 percent, to 87.83 million bpd for this year.
That represents only a marginal upward revision from 1.62 percent previously.
"Oil demand in the first quarter of this year was boosted by cold winter weather in the northern hemisphere," OPEC said in its latest monthly bulletin.
In developing countries, second quarter oil demand "is expected to maintain its healthy level, achieving similar growth to that of the first quarter," it said
Nevertheless, "while the colder-than-normal winter has strengthened oil demand, high oil prices could dampen consumption over the coming months if current price levels persist for an extended period," the cartel said.