Crude oil demand will rise this year, unimpeded by a debt crisis in Greece that may spread to other European nations and slow growth, oil ministers from Saudi Arabia and Algeria said.
“Oil demand is very good, it is going to increase this year,” Saudi Arabia’s Ali al-Naimi said to Bloomberg in Doha yesterday. Use of crude will rise in China, India and the Middle East, as those countries “are not affected by what’s happening in Greece,” Algeria’s Chakib Khelil said in an interview.
Oil has retreated in the past few days from its 18-month high of $87.15 reached on May 3. Crude futures dropped to $74.51 on May 7, the weakest intra-day price since Feb. 16. The fluctuations have sent volatility to its highest in almost two months.
Crude oil inventories in the U.S. gained 9.6 percent over the past three months to 360.6 million barrels, the highest since June 2009, according to government data.