The International Energy Agency (IEA) says that oil storage levels in industrialised countries have fallen sharply in the first quarter of the year, and warns they could fall further in the coming months.
IEA, the oil monitor representing the world's leading 26 industrialised countries, has forecast this year's global oil consumption to be 85.8 million barrels a day. The consumption rate in 2004 was an estimated 82.59 million b/day.
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which represents 70 countries, has drawn down inventories to around 80.5 million barrels a day in response to the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries' (OPEC) supply cuts, driving up world oil prices.
US crude futures now stand at around $65 (47) a barrel, from below $50 in mid-January. OPEC output has fallen to 30 million b/d, its lowest level for two and a half years. The cartel has resisted pressure from the IEA and consumer countries to raise production. OPEC has blamed a shortage of oil refining capacity for the sharp rise in oil prices.