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Middle East Oil Demand in December 2014

Source: OPEC 12/14/2014, Location: Middle East

In the Middle East, yet again there were opposing trends in oil demand in October 2014. While oil demand in Saudi Arabia continues its positive momentum, growing by around 4% y-o-y, demand from Iraq contracted further, although at a lower pace than in the previous month.

Transportation, industrial fuels and direct crude burning were the contributing elements in rising Saudi Arabian oil demand in 2014, which continued to be the pattern of consumption during the month of October. In Iraq, oil requirements have been on a declining trend since July 2014, with all product category requirements falling, particularly transportation and industrial fuels, however, the pace of contraction has slowed from previous months, hinting at a bottoming-out. The contraction level reached its highest level in July 2014 when it shrunk by more than 0.16 mb/d y-o-y; it declined at a slower rate in October 2014, by 70 tb/d y-o-y.

Iraqi direct crude oil burning for electricity generation, however, increased compared with the same period in 2013. In Kuwait, weaker gasoline and fuel oil requirements implied overall flat oil demand growth year-to-date, compared with the same period in 2013. Oil demand also grew in Qatar and the UAE; in both countries, transportation fuels, notably gasoline, dominated this increase.

In 2015, the strength of Middle East oil demand is expected to originate from the growing road transportation sector, expanding manufacturing activity across the region, the direct use of oil for electricity generation and the petrochemical industry. The region has been one of the main contributors to world oil demand growth during the last 15 years, and this is expected to continue in 2015.

Total oil demand in the region is estimated to reach 8.09 mb/d during 2014 with yearly growth of 0.28 mb/d. In 2015, oil demand growth in the Middle East is forecast to record 0.30 mb/d growth.

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