Page last updated at 15:20 GMT, Thursday, 10 July 2008 16:20 UK

Global energy needs 'to grow 50%'

Petrol customer
Opec says it is pumping enough oil to satisfy demand

World demand for oil will grow by 50% between now and 2030 as people in developing countries drive more cars, oil producers' group Opec says.

In its 2008 world outlook, Opec said that adequate oil reserves and new methods of exploiting them would allow supply to keep up with demand.

The group blamed sky-high oil prices on the weak US dollar and speculators.

But critics say it is Opec's refusal to increase oil supply that is causing sky-rocketing crude prices.

Opec said that years of relatively low oil prices had led to under investment in oil production, leaving the industry unable to meet increased demand driven by booming economies such as China.

"Low prices were bad for the oil industry, and in the longer term they were also bad for consumers," the report said.

Pumping enough

Speaking after the report was released, Opec secretary general Abdullah al-Badri said that Opec was pumping more than enough oil but would review supply at the group's next meeting in September.

However, Opec also said that demand for its oil could fall to 31 million barrels per day in 2012, below current production levels as Europe and the US move to cut oil dependence.

Crude oil rose to a record high of just below $147 a barrel in London last week.

On Thursday, US sweet light crude was trading at $137.12 a barrel and London Brent crude was at $137.70 a barrel.

Meanwhile, the International Energy Agency, the energy adviser to 27 nations, raised its forecast for 2008 global oil demand, ending five months of downward revisions.

It increased its forecast by 0.1%, or 80,000 barrels, to 86.85 million barrels per day, citing rising consumption in developing countries.

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