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Vitol sees global oil demand growing 2 mil b/d in 2023, flags economic risks


Sees global oil demand growing until 2030

Traded crude volume fell in 2022 due loss of Russian contracts

Warns on economic and geopolitical risks

  • Author
  • Robert Perkins
  • Editor
  • Andy Critchlow
  • Commodity
  • Electric Power LNG Oil Metals
  • Topic
  • Europe Energy Price Crisis

Independent energy trading house Vitol on March 20 flagged economic risks to energy markets but still expects global oil demand to grow by 2 million b/d this year and continue expanding until 2030.

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Vitol, the world's biggest independent oil trader, said it still expects Chinese reopening and aviation sector demand to support oil demand growth this year, it said a 2022 trading update, despite spot oil prices dropping to fresh 15-month lows over fears of further fallout from the Silicon Valley Bank crisis and the emergency takeover of Credit Suisse.

"Looking forward to the rest of 2023, we expect oil demand to grow by 2 m b/d, driven primarily by the aviation sector globally and recovering demand in China," Vitol CEO Russel Hardy said in the statement. "That said, energy markets remain vulnerable to both economic and geopolitical risks. The extreme volatility of energy markets during 2022 highlighted the importance of prudent physical and financial risk management; accordingly, we will continue to manage our business and financial position carefully and conservatively."

Hardy added he expects global oil demand to grow until around 2030 despite the continued penetration of electric cars and alternative fuels.

In terms of trading, Vitol said its traded crude oil volumes fell slightly to 199.5 million mt in 2022, from 200.5 million mt in the previous year, as it exited contracts and ceased trading Russian crude in June 2022.

"We expect jet volumes to recover this year in the wake of China's reopening, though structural issues in the airline and travel sector will moderate demand growth in 2023," it said.