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OPEC: Europe's Debt Crisis Could Cut 2012 Oil Consumption


Source: VOA

OPECThe Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries says the ongoing European governmental debt crisis could cut global oil consumption this year.

OPEC on Monday left its forecast for 2012 oil demand unchanged at nearly 89 million barrels a day. But the 12-nation cartel, which produces about 40 percent of the world's oil, said that if Europe's financial woes worsen, it could weaken demand not only in Europe, but also in emerging economies across the globe.

The price of oil has risen about 25 percent since September, to about $100 a barrel in New York trading. The price has been pushed higher in the last month as tensions rise because of Iran's threat to block oil tanker traffic through the Persian Gulf in response to the economic sanctions imposed by Western nations seeking to curtail Tehran's nuclear program. About a fifth of the world's oil production is transported through the gulf.

OPEC said “geopolitical concerns” have affected the oil market, but otherwise made no mention of the dispute between Iran and the West.

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