The oil demand worldwide plummeted by 9 million barrels a day (mbd) in 2020 as the air traffic across the world was largely suspended, while the other movements were restricted to curb the outbreak of the virus.
"Global oil demand, still reeling from the effects of the pandemic, is unlikely to catch up with its pre-Covid trajectory. In 2020, the start of our forecast period, oil demand was nearly 9 mb/d below the level seen in 2019, and it is not expected to return to that level before 2023," the IEA said in the Oil 2021 report.
The oil demand in 2019 amounted to 99.7 mbd, while in 2020 it shrank to 91 mbd and this year is expected to rebound to 96.5 mbd, according to the IEA estimations.
"As a result, by 2026, global oil consumption is projected to reach 104.1 mb/d. This would represent an increase of 4.4 mb/d from 2019 levels. Oil demand in 2025 is set to be 2.5 mb/d lower than was forecast a year ago in our Oil 2020 report," the report read.
The aviation sector’s demand, which was hit the most by the pandemic, is expected to recover only by 2024 as business travel is forecast to remain limited, the IEA underlined.
At the same time, the global gasoline consumption is unlikely to ever return to pre-crisis levels and is forecast to fall by 690,000 barrels a day through 2026, to 25.9 mbd.