RIYADH: Global oil demand was at 102 percent of pre-pandemic levels in December 2022, primarily driven by gains in Japan, Indonesia, and South Korea, the latest data from the Joint Organizations Data Initiative revealed.
The report revealed that demand stood at 1.3 million barrels per day – despite global crude production declining by 274,000 bpd in what was a five-month low, led by losses in the US and UK.
This meant global crude production was at 96 percent of pre-pandemic levels.
The data showed that Saudi Arabia’s crude oil production in December fell by 33,000 bpd to 10.44 million bpd.
The Kingdom’s crude exports rose by 157,000 bpd to 7.44 million bpd in the same month.
JODI further added that Saudi Arabia’s crude inventories fell by 3.05 million barrels in December 2022, and product inventories increased by 2.66 million barrels.
Crude production in the US fell by 288,000 bpd to 12.09 million bpd, while total product demand rose by 169,000 bpd to 20.76 million bpd.
On the other hand, global inventories of crude and refined products climbed counter seasonally by 5.46 million barrels.
Global product inventories remained 354 million barrels below the five-year average in December 2022, the JODI report added.
The report did not have December data for China or Russia.
The report, however, had Russia’s November data, available for the first time.
Russian crude production increased by 143,000 bpd in November to 10.02 million bpd and was only 235,000 bpd below pre-invasion levels. Meanwhile, Russia’s natural gas production increased by 2.6 billion cubic meters to a six-month high.
Combined natural gas inventories of the EU and UK declined by 9.5 bcm in December 2022, less than the seasonal average draw of 11.5 bcm. Inventories stood at 85 percent full at the end of the month.
Meanwhile, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, on Feb. 14, raised its 2023 forecast for global oil demand growth in its first upward revision for months, citing China’s relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions and slightly stronger prospects for the world economy.
In its monthly report, OPEC noted that the oil demand will rise this year by 2.32 million bpd, or 2.3 percent, a projection which is 100,000 bpd higher than last month’s forecast.