The prospect of rising oil prices was raised today after the International Energy Agency increased its forecast for daily global oil consumption this year by 900,000 barrels a day to a record average of 90.8 million barrels.
The IEA raised its forecast by 1 per cent amid rising growth expectations for China, and warned the increase could put upward pressure on the oil price because it coincides with a decline in Saudi Arabia's production.
"All of a sudden, the market looks tighter than we thought," an IEA spokesman said. "OECD inventories are getting tighter – a clean break from the protracted builds that had been a hallmark of 2012."
China will use 390,000 barrels a day more oil this year than last, taking its daily consumption to 10 million barrels, the IEA said.