The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has sparked the biggest economic downturn in the oil and gas sector "in living memory", the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) said in a report published on Thursday.
The 2020 World Oil Outlook (WOO) report, launched via videoconference in Vienna, said the crisis had led to "the most severe economic downturn since the Great Depression in the 1930s."
“As we turn an important page in our history, OPEC’s commitment to securing an efficient, economic and steady supply of oil to consuming countries, and providing essential support to the global economy, is as unshakable today as it was when the Organization was founded 60 years ago,” OPEC secretary-general HE Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo said in a statement.
The news comes as OPEC reduced growth forecasts for all global economies from 2019 to 2025, decreasing to 0.7 percent from 2.1 percent. Non-OECD nations may grow up to 3.4 percent, down one percent from the previous period.
— OPEC (@OPECSecretariat) October 8, 2020
Oil demand is also set to peak around 2040 but is expected to keep the largest share of fossil fuels up to 2045, with natural gas coming in second, OPEC added.
But oil prices could fall from 31.5 percent to 27.5 percent from 2019 to 2045, respectively, and would peak by the end of the forecast period, the report said.
“Under the assumption that the Covid-19 pandemic will be broadly contained in the course of 2020, oil demand is expected to recover in 2021 and 2022, and will continue growing in the years thereafter,” the organisation added.
The report comes amid chaos in numerous sectors, namely in the aviation industry, as national carriers such as EasyJet, British Airways, Lufthansa and many others have called for government assistance due to low carrier capacities this year.