Shortages of natural gas in Europe and Asia are boosting demand for oil, deepening what was already a sizable supply deficit in crude markets, the International Energy Agency said.
Crude has surged above US$80 a barrel, the highest in three years, as traders anticipated that record gas prices would stimulate consumption of other fuels, particularly for power generation. That’s already happening and could add about 500,000 barrels a day to oil use on average over the coming six months, the IEA said on Thursday.
“An acute shortage of natural gas, LNG and coal supplies stemming from the gathering global economic recovery has sparked a precipitous run-up in prices for energy supplies and is triggering a massive switch to oil products,” the IEA said. “Provisional August data already indicates that there is some unseasonably high demand for fuel oil, crude and middle distillates for power plants across a number of countries, including China.”
The latest analysis from the agency, which advises industrialized countries on energy policy, shows how the acute shortage of natural gas is spilling over into other markets and the broader economy. The crisis is deepening the current oil-supply deficit, potentially disrupting OPEC’s careful plan to gradually revive idle production. It’s roiling energy-intensive industries and threatens to curb GDP growth and boost inflation…read more.