If there is one thing the oil world’s chief prognosticators can agree on, it is that global demand is going up by more than a million barrels a day this year. Both the International Energy Agency and the Energy Information Administration put growth at about 1.4 million barrels a day; OPEC has it at 1.2 million.
There’s just one problem: Refiners, the biggest buyers of crude oil, aren’t buying it.
The IEA drew attention to the issue in its latest monthly report on the oil market — provided you read all the way through to page 44, that is. In a section titled “The burden of the light-hearted demand growth,” the IEA pointed out that “oil” isn’t always oil, a disconnect that has been widening.