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OPEC raises oil demand forecasts

VIENNA, Nov 11 – The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries revised upward on Thursday its world oil demand growth estimates for both 2010 and 2011 amid cautious optimism about the global economic outlook.

OPEC said it was pencilling in world oil demand growth of 1.32 million barrels per day (bpd) or 1.6 percent to 85.78 million bpd for the whole of 2010, compared with 1.3 percent previously.

And in 2011, oil demand would then increase by a further 1.17 million bpd or 1.4 percent to 86.95 million bpd, instead of the previous estimate of 1.2 percent, the cartel said in its latest monthly bulletin.

"Despite initial economic assessments that underestimated the second half of the year\’s economic activities, oil demand is picking up in the third and fourth quarters," OPEC wrote.

In industrialised nations, in particular, oil consumption had outpaced expectations as a result of the stronger-than-expected economic activities, supported by various stimulus plans.

Looking ahead to next year, "optimism about the outlook for world economic activity is growing to some degree," OPEC said.

And the improved outlook for demand in industrialised nations was a "key factor" behind the upward revision of OPEC\’s forecast,

"However, given the higher baseline, oil demand growth is expected to be lower than in the current year," it cautioned.

Furthermore, the expected economic recovery "is moving in slow motion and experiencing surprising turbulence," OPEC said.

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