The Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC) expected in its latest report that crude oil prices will stabilize during the second semester of 2022 between 90 to 100 dollars per barrel.
The organization indicated in the 48th annual report of its Secretary-General that crude oil prices rose during the first semester of 2022 to their highest levels in years, at a rate of $105 per barrel.
This rise – according to the report – was driven by growing concerns about supply shortages amid escalating geopolitical tensions in some key production areas, especially in Eastern Europe and the Middle East, supply disruptions in the Caspian Sea, and shortages of gasoline and diesel fuel supply during the summer season.
However, concerns about slowing demand in China, the largest global importer of oil, had a role in limiting the rise in prices, following the worst outbreak of the Covid-19 virus in two years, the same source adds.
For its part, the global demand for oil during the first six months of 2022 increased significantly, amounting to about 1.3 million barrels per day, compared to 2021, to reach 98.2 million barrels per day, thanks to the recovery of global economic activity after the end of the lockdown and the lifting of restrictions imposed on movement and travel related to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The report expects global demand for oil to rise to 100.3 million barrels per day by the end of 2022.
These forecasts are subject to uncertainty related to escalating geopolitical tensions, challenges related to the resurgence of the COVID-19 virus, bottlenecks in supply chains, and high inflation rates.
Members of the International Energy Agency (including the United States of America) announced the largest-ever withdrawal from its strategic stocks of 120 million barrels over the period (May to October 2022), with the aim of alleviating the growing supply shortage in the oil markets.