Data released mid week showing surging crude stockpiles in USA, at almost twice the expected levels, is an indication of weak energy demand in USA. This report has spiked taken crude oil prices in New York to US$34 a barrel, currently hovering near five-year lows of US$32.20. Brent North Sea crude for March delivery is at US$44.65 in London. An 11 dollar price difference between New York crude and London Brent is a unique occurrence.
The International Energy Agency (IEA), has once again cut its forecast for global oil demand this year to 84.7 mln bpd on an average in 2009, 570,000 bpd less than its last forecast made in January. At this level, demand would be 1.1% less than in 2008, when demand also fell compared with the year earlier. The IEA has also warned about a future supply crunch because of current low investment levels.