Pandemic pushes back global oil demand to 2013 levels


Worldwide demand for oil has scaled back due to the COVID-19 pandemic, based on estimates from the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Global demand currently stands at around 91.7 barrels per day (bpd) — the same estimate back in 2013 — with demand for petroleum products possibly dropping by 8.4 million bpd by year’s end compared to 2019. Meanwhile, demand is projected to grow by 5.5 million bpd in 2021.

The IEA warned of a “treacherous” path ahead for the oil industry with shrinking demand resulting from resurgences of COVID-19 cases, as well as continued quarantines in different parts of the world.

In the Philippines, oil demand bottomed  stood at 1.25 million liters last April, down 42% against the record January level of 2.15 million liters, based on data from the Department of Energy.

Demand recovered in May and June to 1.72 million and 1.70 million liters, respectively, with the lifting of lockdowns. However, these are still lower than pre-pandemic levels.