Oil prices: You ain't seen nuthin' yet

The global thirst for oil is growing twice as fast as last year

By Andrew Leonard
June 23, 2007 1:08AM (UTC)
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A couple of data points about oil.

The Wall Street Journal reports today that world oil demand is growing twice as fast as last year.

The International Energy Agency, which monitors oil markets on behalf of industrialized nations, is forecasting average global oil demand of 86.1 million barrels a day this year, up 2 percent from last year. That is twice as fast as the 0.9% growth recorded in 2006, compared with 2005.

Demand is expected to accelerate further in the fourth quarter to 88 million barrels a day, an unprecedented quarterly volume and up 2.6 million barrels a day from the year-earlier period. In the second quarter, global oil demand already has risen at a 1.7% rate, more than double the 0.8% a year ago, according to forecasts and data compiled by the IEA.

Where's the demand coming from? All over, but especially China.

The China Daily reports:

In the first five months this year, China's net oil imports roared to 65.83 million tons, an increase of 11.5 percent from the same period last year. At the same time, China produced 77.51 million tons of oil, a 1.7 percent rise year-on-year.

Customs statistics show that from January to May, China imported 67.43 million tons of crude oil, up 9.6 percent year-on-year. Meanwhile, it exported 1.6 million tons, down 36.6 percent.

And people think the price of gasoline is high now.

Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

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